Spain to hold renewables auction this year


From pv magazine Spain

The Spanish cabinet has approved a royal decree that regulates the long-expected auction scheme for renewable energy.

The new regulatory framework will allow the hybridization of technologies, the expansion and modification of existing facilities, and the use of storage. Successful bidders will be awarded a price per kWh over periods of 20 years.

The decree responds to the need to offer a stable framework that attracts investment and encourages economic activity … and allows consumers to benefit directly from the reductions in the generation costs of these technologies,” said the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO). It added that the auctions are key to achieving the country's decarbonization objectives, and estimated that “up to 90% of the components of the wind turbines, 60% of the PV projects, or 80% of the solar thermal projects are” domestically produced.

Before holding an auction, the maximum power or energy quota to be auctioned will be established. The royal decree also sets additional criteria to include projects with specific characteristics, such as small-sized installations, innovative projects, and energy communities.

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A five-year auction calendar will be published in the upcoming weeks. It be updated at least annually and will be designed to achieve the renewable production objectives established in the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) 2021-30.

Spain reached 8.7 GW of cumulative solar capacity last year, according to the latest statistics from grid operator Red Eléctrica de España (REE). REE said the nation added 3.975 GW of new solar last year, which is much more than the 261.7 MW connected in the preceding year, or the 135 MW installed in 2017.

Most of last year’s new solar capacity came from projects selected in national auctions in which solar was the only winner, with around 3.9 GW of capacity awarded. Unlike a 3 GW renewables auction held in May 2017, which featured PV-unfriendly rules to ensure that wind would prevail in a tie between rival tech bids, the last auction opened up the field to solar plants.

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