Solar investors line up against Spain at World Bank

Parabolic solar panels at the Andasol 3 plant near Granada. Photo: El Periódico
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• Total of 27 lawsuits over Spain renewables cuts at World Bank dispute agency
• ICSID has ordered Spain to pay 128 mn euros compensation to solar investors

A group of international investors led by German bank Portigon AG have filed the latest lawsuit against Spain on Monday at the World Bank’s Washington-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), claiming compensation for losses stemming from the Spanish government’s cutback in purchases of solar energy despite Spain’s binding commitments under the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty governing cross-border investment in energy projects.

The Portigon lawsuit comes just two weeks after Spain lost a dispute at the ICSID to British firm Eiser Infrastructure, an energy investment firm founded in founded in 2005 by Dutch bank ABN Amro, and its Luxembourg subsidiary Energia Solar Luxembourg. On 4th May, The ICSID ordered Spain to pay 128 million euros compensation to Eiser for losses incurred as a result of unilateral cuts to solar energy purchases implemented under the 2011-2015 conservative Partido Popular (PP) government of President Mariano Rajoy.

The latest lawsuit brings to a total of 27 disputes filed against Spain by international solar energy investors and currently pending at the World Bank’s investment dispute resolution body. The multiple disputes at the ICSID all focus on whether or not the Rajoy government violated its commitments to investors under the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty by unilaterally changing the regulatory scheme governing subsidies to renewable energy production after having guaranteed certain conditions in order to encourage direct foreign investment in Spain’s renewable energy sector.

► Read More in Spanish at Europa Press, El Diario and El Periódico …

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