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Published on May 22nd, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill


Spanish Solar Industry Cries Foul Over Recent Renewable Energy Auction Results

May 22nd, 2017 by  

Spain’s solar association, Unión Española Fotovoltaica, has announced it is seeking legal action in the wake of what it is calling a “discriminatory” renewable energy auction that prioritized wind energy over solar energy, despite both technologies offering the same bid prices.

As we’ve already covered, two recent renewable energy auctions in Germany and Spain yielded significantly impressive results in terms of onshore wind energy prices. The Germany auction was solely for onshore wind, but the Spanish auction held earlier this month was for all types of renewable energy, and awarded 2,979 MW of wind energy, 1 MW for solar PV installations, and 20 MW for other technologies.

Spain’s Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda explained that “The applications submitted have exceeded by more than three times the power awarded” [sic] and that the country’s national energy regulator, the Comisión Nacional de Mercados y Competencia (CNMC), “has validated the results of the auction and confirmed that the process has been objective, transparent and non-discriminatory and that the auction has been developed in a competitive manner.”

It would appear, however, that the country’s solar association, Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF), disagrees.

In a press release published on the same day as the auction, the UNEF was blunt in its criticism of the auction, saying that solar PV “has competed in discriminatory conditions” and that the auction was poorly designed and had unfair auction rules. Specifically, UNEF pointed to the auction rules which specified that, in the case of a tie between offers presented between wind power and solar PV, the advantage was given to wind power.

However, from what I could tell, the auction rules actually don’t necessarily give preference to wind power, per se, but rather to whichever technology provides the more equivalent generation hours — which in this case would be wind power.

UNEF has already taken its case to the Spanish Supreme Court, and will also file a complaint with the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission.

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