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The New Renewable Electricity Support Scheme in Spain: A Comment

Pablo del Río, Anxo Calvo-Silvosa, Guillermo Iglesias


A complex regulatory package implementing a new support scheme for renewable electricity has recently been adopted in Spain. The aim of this article is to describe the main elements of the new remuneration scheme and to provide a brief analysis of its main shortcomings. It is argued that the new system has several potential drawbacks. Its priority is not on increasing deployment, but on containing the total costs of support, making it potentially ineffective. The regulation is retroactive for existing plants, non-transparent, highly-risky for both existing and new plants (since basic parameters affecting the remuneration levels can be revised ex-post every 6 years), administratively costly and subject to the discretionary power certainly of the government. It is definitively not a best-practice model on which future support schemes elsewhere should be based.

Dr. Pablo del Río is senior researcher at the Institute for Public Policies and Goods, National Research Council of Spain (CSIC). Dr. Anxo Calvo-Silvosa and Dr. Guillermo Iglesias are professors of economics at University of A Coruna, Spain.

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