Spain: Summary

Updated: 01.07.2016

Author: Dr. Moïra 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 the 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.

In 2015 Real Decreto 900/2015 was approved, establishing charges on existing and new self-consumption RES plants, both on capacity and generation levels. According to RD 900 these are not taxes or compensation for utility losses, but contributions to overall system costs. Self-consumption installations under 10 kW and plants located not on the Spanish mainland will be spared the generation charge, but will still be subject to a fixed charge per kW of capacity.

More about support schemes

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 Industria, Energía y Turismo (Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism)
  • +34 902 44 60 06
  • Ministry website