Spain’s wind-power sector shows signs of rebound

Renewable energy wind turbines in Spain. Photo: CGoodwin via Wikimedia Commons
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• Buoyed by exports, Spain’s wind-power producers appear poised for recovery
• Deloitte report sees resilience, despite losses from PP-imposed renewables tax

Spain’s wind-powered energy industry has shown its resilience, despite having been hard hit by the Energy Reform law passed in 2012 by the conservative Partido Popular (PP) majority in Congress, with wind-power accounting for a savings of 15.7 million euros over the projected cost of fossil-fuel-generated electricity during 2011-2015, while saving Spanish consumers at the same time an average 227 euros on their annual household energy bills.

According to a new report by global consultancy firm Deloitte for the Spanish Wind-energy Business Association (Asociación Empresarial Eólica), the so-called Energy Reform Law that reversed support for Spain’s nascent renewables energy sector to the benefit of large, publicly listed fossil-fuel producers Repsol and Endesa, was particularly harmful to Spain’s wind-power industry.

After having lost 14,319 jobs from 2008-2011 due to the impact in Spain of the global economic crisis, the Deloitte report says that from 2011-2015 Spain’s wind-power producers lost an additional 4,651 jobs and in the two years following the 2012 passage of the so-called Energy Reform Law, which penalized wind- and solar-power producers with a 7 percent tax on renewable energy production in Spain, annual revenues for wind-power producers fell by 23 percent.

The industry has managed to stay afloat and recover nearly 300 of the jobs lost by shifting to exporting machinery and equipment valued at 11,010 million euros, with Spanish manufacture of wind turbines now ranking Spain as the fourth-largest exporter of wind-energy equipment worldwide. According to a separate report by the Global World Energy Council, Spain is now the second-largest European country and fifth-largest worldwide in terms of installed wind-power capacity.

► Read More in Spanish at Ecoticias and Energí …

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