Spain: Summary

Updated: 19.12.2017

Author: Moira Jimeno

Support schemes

In Spain, the generation of electricity from renewable sources was mainly promoted through a price regulation system. Plant operators could choose between two options: a guaranteed feed-in tariff and a guaranteed bonus (premium) paid on top of the electricity price achieved on the wholesale market. The price regulation system was phased out through Real Decreto-ley 9/2013. The reason for this suspension is traced in the preamble of RDL 1/2012. A different regulation that had previously suspended the support schemes, before their final phasing out: RD 6/2009 established that by 2013 a part of the consumers’ electricity bill (the “peajes de acceso”) should be able to fully balance the costs incurred by the State arising from the support scheme. It was deemed, however, that the situation would not have allowed this goal to be reached by 2013. For this reason, and together with the high growth of RES-E in the past years, even beyond the set goals, all support schemes for RES-E were blocked.

 

The Real Decreto RD 413/2014 was approved to regulate the specific compensation regime or premium tariff (“Régimen Retributivo Específico”), aiming at supporting renewable energy plants. The Real Decretos 359/2017 and 650/2017 set each one a call for the allocation of the specific compensation regime for new renewable energy plants located in the mainland electricity system. The selected procedure to allocate the premium tariff was a call for tenders regulated through Order ETU/315/2017. The latter also approved the value of the different compensation parameters for the reference RES plants under the specific remuneration regime or premium tariff

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Grid issues

In Spain, renewable energy plants are statutorily entitled to priority access to, connection to and use of the grid. Renewable electricity is granted priority dispatch in the electricity markets at no cost, provided the stability and security of the grid infrastructure can be maintained. Renewable energy plants operate under the so-called “Special Regime”. Real Decreto 1/2012 partially modified and suspended parts of this regime, however exclusively in economic terms (support schemes). Concerning the use and development of the grid with respect to RES-E, Real Decreto 1/2012 has no effect, as confirmed by the National Energy Commission (CNE).

Plant operators may be contractually entitled to the expansion of the grid. If the expansion is required for a plant to be connected to the grid, the operator of the plant shall bear the costs of the expansion works (“deep” connection charges). Apart from that, the grid operator is obligated to expand his grid in compliance with the general legislation on energy.

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Policies

Spain has a national training system for installers and an obligatory certification for solar thermal panels. In addition, there are two wider frameworks, the R&D plan and the building code that include RES as an area of interest.

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Spain

Further information

  • Ministerio de Energía, Turismo y Agenda Digital (Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda)
  • +34 902 44 60 06
  • Ministry website
  • Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) – National Markets and Competition Commission
  • +34 914 329 600
  • CNE website