The first of Spain’s new clean energy auctions is set to take place next month, with the country’s government allocating a total of 3GW of renewables capacity. While at least 1GW will be for solar PV and another 1GW for onshore wind, the remaining capacity will be auctioned without technological restrictions.
Winning PV projects from the auction on 26 January will receive a 12-year power purchase agreement.
Parties interested in submitting bids will be able to send documentation from tomorrow (15 December), with participants asked to present a strategic plan for their proposed projects, including job creation benefits and a carbon footprint analysis.
The announcement marks the beginning of Spain’s new auction mechanism, which foresees a total of around 19.4GW of renewables to be assigned through auctions between now and 2025, with at least 10GW of that capacity to be solar PV. The pay-as-bid system will allow hybridisation between technologies and be compatible with energy storage.
Minimum accumulated PV capacity included in Spain’s new auctions (MW)
Announced last month, the new mechanism is described as “essential” to meet the decarbonisation commitments included in Spain’s Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), which calls for the country to install 60GW of renewables capacity by 2030.
Spain’s environment ministry said the new auctioning system will offer a stable framework that attracts investment and encourages economic activity throughout the country’s clean energy value chain, while at the same time allowing consumers to directly benefit from the reduction in the generation costs of renewables.
While the new auctions been welcomed by Spain's solar association, UNEF, which said they will provide more certainty for investors, questions have been raised about their need, given that PV projects are currently being financed and developed on a merchant basis in the country.
Speaking at the recent Large Scale Solar Europe Virtual Summit event, José Antonio Urquizu, founding partner of Spanish investment firm Everwood Capital, said he sees the auction as an “artificial interference on market pricing”. For Spain to reach its renewable energy targets, Urquizu called for additional resources to be devoted to permitting and speeding up administrative procedures.
After a record amount of solar PV capacity was installed in Spain in 2019 – consisting of 4,201MW of ground-mounted arrays and 459MW of distributed projects – power generation from the technology in the first nine months of 2020 was up 67.5% year-on-year. According to grid operator Red Eléctrica de España, renewables generation between January and September was 16.3% higher than the same period of 2019.
Jan 20, 2021 GMT
Virtually all PV modules for large-scale utility-based solar sites are imported to the US, especially from Chinese companies using manufacturing sites across Southeast Asia. This puts extreme pressure on US site developers, EPCs and investors, in understanding fully the differences between the companies offering imported PV modules How credible are the companies supplying the products? What is the financial health of the parent entity? Where is the module produced, and is this undertaken in-house or through third-party OEMs? What is the supply-chain for the module sub-components including wafers and cells? And then, how will the modules perform in the field, and is it possible to gauge reliability levels benchmarked against competitors? This webinar will provide insights from two of the leading experts in PV module manufacturing, supply, performance and reliability: Jenya Meydbray of PV Evolution Labs and Finlay Colville from PV-Tech. The 1-hour session will include presentations from Jenya and Finlay, and then a brand-new supplier scorecard matrix that combines the key outputs from PVEL's Module Reliability Scorecard and PV-Tech's PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings, with specific focus on module supply and use in the US market.