Spanish downturn a disaster for green energy

Jun 23, 2013 by By Katell Abiven
Wind turbines are seen off the coast of Barbate, southern Spain on August 30, 2006. Spain's wind turbine manufacturers are laying off workers and farmers who installed solar panels are facing ruin as austerity policies afflict the long-coddled green energy sector.

Spain's wind turbine manufacturers are laying off workers and farmers who installed solar panels are facing ruin as austerity policies afflict the long-coddled green energy sector.

Further cuts are expected this summer.

State subsidies to clean energy producers have already fallen by between 12 and 40 percent on average in recent years, say.

They could fall by another 10-20 percent in a new energy sector reform expected mid-July, according to the Spanish media.

"The punishment meted out to renewable energies in the past five years amounts to more than six billion euros ($8 billion)," said Sergio Otto, secretary general of the business group Renewables Foundation.

"In the wind turbine industry alone we have lost 20,000 jobs and in the solar energy sector it's probably more," he said.

At the heart of the problem is a deficit of more than 26 billion euros in Spain's , built up by subsidies to cover the gap between the cost of producing electricity and the price charged to consumers.

"We are still singling out renewable energies as the main guilty parties for this deficit," Otto complained.

In the middle of the last decade when the economy was enjoying strong growth, Spain put a cap on the price of green energies and provided "fairly generous" subsidies, said Carlos Garcia Suarez, expert in the sector at the IE Business School.

The state aid boosted the appetite of investors and led to a "boom" in wind and, later, solar energies, making Spain a world leader in the industry, Suarez said.

"Not only have the subsidies come down but new projects have been explicitly banned, which is pretty unusual," he said.

The retroactive nature of some cuts even threw into question Spain's reliability for investors, Suarez said.

Indeed, several investment funds that bet on the sector are now taking Spain to international arbitration.

There is "political pressure", too, from the United States where some of the funds are based and the Spanish government is uncertain how to resolve the matter, he said.

"We gave excessive subsidies," said Rodrigo Izurzun, energy specialist at Ecologists in Action, an association which also criticised the radical change in policy since the economic crisis hit Spain in 2008.

"The current policy is harmful because the sector was maturing and close to becoming competitive without any aid but has suddenly totally collapsed," Izurzun said.

"That is without mentioning what the impact is in terms of braking the fight against climate change."

Investors in no longer believe the outlook is attractive, said Heikki Willstedt Mesa, director of energy policy at the wind turbine association AEE.

"We have sued in the Spanish courts," said Miguel Angel Martinez-Aroca, president of Anpier, which groups Spanish solar energy producers. The sector is "barely surviving after so many cuts", he said.

His association has launched a campaign to highlight the unknown victims of the new austerity regime: people who put their savings into counting on the subsidies to make them profitable and, for example, to help finance their retirement.

"There are 55,000 individuals, small savers, many farmers and breeders, professionals, families and small businesses who simply believed what the state told them, which was to invest in solar energy," Martinez-Aroca said.

"Then we were ruined," he said, denouncing a "swindle and deception by the state" which lowered payments for such panels by 40 percent.

The consequences are far reaching.

"The sector's debt to banks with is now 20 billion euros," Martinez-Aroca said.

Spain's banks are hardly in a state to withstand the blow; they have already had to take more than 41 billion euros from a European credit line to recapitalise balance sheets laden with bad loans since a 2008 property market crash.

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User comments : 17

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VENDItardE
2.1 / 5 (18) Jun 23, 2013
green tech always need green cash just to survive
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (12) Jun 23, 2013
Aren't American Green Backs, green?

The tens of billions of U.S. dollars, organized in bundles of $20's and packed onto dozens of crates that were flown into Iraq under the orders of George Bush and which vanished overnight as U.S. soldiers watched were all green.

The witnesses have testified to that fact.
MR166
1.9 / 5 (14) Jun 23, 2013
"The tens of billions of U.S. dollars, organized in bundles of $20's and packed onto dozens of crates that were flown into Iraq under the orders of George Bush and which vanished overnight as U.S. soldiers watched were all green."

That is mere pocket change in comparison to the 10 Trillion dollars that Obama and Bernanke have made disappear.
VendicarE
3.6 / 5 (14) Jun 23, 2013
"That is mere pocket change in comparison to the 10 Trillion dollars that Obama and Bernanke have made disappear." - MR166

First: Spending has hardly increased at all under Obama.

http://02varvara....ding.jpg

But what has happened is a dramatic loss of revenue due to higher unemployment rates, and companies like Apple who essentially pay no taxes.

Second: As the following graphic shows, Obama isn't responsible for adding 10 trillion to the U.S. debt. You are lying...

http://www.weekly...view.jpg

It has been only around half the 10 trillion you dishonestly claim.

Now the alternative would have been to cut government spending, by around 1 trillion a year, which represents the wages of around 20 million Americans.

Is it your position that 20 million more Americans should be made unemployed, and then another 20 million on top of that due to economic feedback?

CONT
VendicarE
3.8 / 5 (14) Jun 23, 2013
Most TeaPublican Retards that I have seen demand a global depression now because they believe it will be easier on them than the global depression they insist is coming later.

is that your plan MR166?

Global Economic depression now?

Is that why you really hate Obama? Because he thwarted your Republican plan of Global Economic Devastation and poverty?

VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (15) Jun 23, 2013
House Defeats Farm Aid Bill with Radical Food Stamp Cuts

Before the overall vote, Republicans also passed an amendment that would have allowed states to impose work requirements on food stamp recipients.

Because Child Labor is the goal of Every Republican Senator.

After all, it is just one step away from the legalized Child Prostitution that Libertarians like Republican, Rand Paul demand.
kochevnik
3.5 / 5 (13) Jun 23, 2013
That is mere pocket change in comparison to the 10 Trillion dollars that Obama and Bernanke have made disappear.
That $ went directly to your bankster boss. Why are you crying?
Shootist
1.9 / 5 (14) Jun 23, 2013
green tech always need green cash just to survive


double post deleted by author. But the statement above is still correct.
Shootist
1.8 / 5 (16) Jun 23, 2013
green tech always need green cash just to survive


Yes, yes it does. At least until the old forms of energy are so taxed and burdened by gob'mint regulation that they end up actually costing more the the (POOR) deal offered by unicorn farts and moonbeams.
Shootist
1.8 / 5 (16) Jun 23, 2013
House Defeats Farm Aid Bill with Radical Food Stamp Cuts

Before the overall vote, Republicans also passed an amendment that would have allowed states to impose work requirements on food stamp recipients.

Because Child Labor is the goal of Every Republican Senator.

After all, it is just one step away from the legalized Child Prostitution that Libertarians like Republican, Rand Paul demand.


The demonrat US Senator from New Jersey, Menendez, is the only US Senator I know of that frequents child prostitutes. And he stiffs them for their money as well. He is a good demonrat.
Jimee
4 / 5 (8) Jun 23, 2013
Green will take time to fully mature, but much more public money was spent to produce the petroleum infrastructure than could be spent in the next in 50 years for needed green research and implementation needs.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (12) Jun 23, 2013
Most TeaPublican Retards that I have seen demand a global depression now because they believe it will be easier on them than the global depression they insist is coming later
Well they all have fireplaces and root cellars and quilts that they made themselves. And horses.

They have pictures of their great grandmothers over the fireplace and they long to live and dress the way she did.

Is that so wrong?

Do you know why this country was so religious for so very long? Because it needed to be filled up as quickly as possible and religions, as we know, are best at forcing pop growth.

The US could welcome rabid overpopulators like anabaptists who were being ejected from euro countries because if their profound fecundity.

And when the conventional religions were simply not prolific enough, supercharged sects like LDS were concocted which could absorb excess females from the post-civil war east and put them to task in polygamous families. Presto! Instant populations.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (12) Jun 23, 2013
"The demonrat US Senator from New Jersey, Menendez, is the only US Senator I know of that frequents child prostitutes." - Shootist

Then you should forward you evidence to the FBI.

But poor little tardie boy. You have no evidence. All you have is slander.

Meanwhile the Libertarian position on child molestation comes right from their own party Platform, and has been posted here numerous times.
VendicarE
3.9 / 5 (11) Jun 23, 2013
Green... I.E. "Sustainable", is the only game in town, because by definition, everthing else is unsustainable.

Some brain dead Conservatives like the Dead Julean Simon insist that the earth's finite resources are practically infinite, because as we use up one we find alternatives.

In their view, when we use up the air, we will just find another gas to breathe. Maybe Calcium or magnesium gas.

Low Life Morons.
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (9) Jun 23, 2013
Most TeaPublican Retards that I have seen demand a global depression now because they believe it will be easier on them than the global depression they insist is coming later.

is that your plan MR166?

Global Economic depression now?

Is that why you really hate Obama? Because he thwarted your Republican plan of Global Economic Devastation and poverty?

Lol. Haha. That is a brilliant observation. I never thought about it that way, but now that the cat is out of the bag, I'll never know why the republican = tea (tard) party are so in favor of "GLOBAL DEPRESSION NOW!!!"
Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (6) Jun 24, 2013
@Ghost, good observation. The only essential household service here still dependent on electrical power is the deep-well and that is essential only in the summer to avoid the two mile hike to the largest body of fresh water. Modern heat and light is from propane/diesel and Welsbach mantel lamps or the traditional fireplace and wood lot.

And yes, a global depression and cooling will thin the herd. Read N. N. Taleb's Anti-fragility: Things That Gain from Disorder and the books leading up to it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (7) Jun 24, 2013
Libertarian position on child molestation
Uh, bottom? Might I also point out that their great grandmothers were married and producing by age 13 or something was amiss. This was by the way the age at which the wondergods mother was visitated unto by the holy spirit.
power of the deep-well
Again, the hand pump is much more picturesque and was the subject of many of their favorite songs, along with the outhouse.

America will rise again! See Bioshock.