Spain’s Appeal For Investment In Renewables

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Spain is currently a country with a very diversified energy mix, which is in a moment of “energy transition.” This means it is gradually abandoning fossil fuels and betting more on “green energies”, coming from nature. In the evolution of the Spanish energy mix with respect to the national installed capacity (2006-2021), renewable energy has increased significantly, especially wind and photovoltaic energy. As pointed by the analysts at Intermoney, they have grown 139% and 9,110%, respectively, compared to 2006. Similarly, the installed conventional energy (coal and fuel + gas) has decreased with declines of 53% and 73%, respectively.

Looking to the future, Spain is one of the countries adhering to the Paris Agreement. This aims to curb the increase in global temperature to below 2ºC with respect to pre-industrial levels, as well as to strive to limit it to an increase of less than 1.5ºC.

In line with the Paris Agreement and following the objectives set out by the European Union, the Spanish government published the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNIEC 2021-2030). In this way, Spain already has the path mapped out towards a practically decarbonised economy by 2050, based on laws that support the development of renewable energy projects. As an example, the latest renewables auction, held last January, will install 3,034 MW in our system, of which two thirds will be photovoltaic and the rest wind.

In Spain the objectives of the PNIEC are maintained. These are aimed at achieving a total of 54,700 new MW of renewables energies from 2021 to 2030, of which 23,074 MW will be wind, 26,134 MW solar photovoltaic, 5,000 MW solar thermoelectric and the remaining 495MW of other renewables energies.

Spain would also exceed the European targets for the penetration of these energies with 42% compared to the European 38-40%, so it is not likely we will see an increase in the national targets. That said, it cannot be 100% ruled out. With a view to the current year, 4,125 new MW could be reached, 4,425 new MW in 2022 and increasing in the coming years to reach 6,750MW in 2030.

There is a very high capacity with access that will be left out of the new capacity to be installed and that will mean a significant loss in guarantees. Specifically, compared to the 54,703 new MW, the capacity with access reaches 131,082 MW, i.e. a surplus of 76,379 MW, especially in solar photovoltaic with +70,641 MW, and much less in wind power with +10,0506 MW. Meanwhile, in thermoelectric power it would be different, since 4,952MW would be needed.

For the experts of Renta 4, the very strong operational and financial growth of the companies will be coupled with the growing trend of ESG. However, they also believe that “not everything goes” and that the large project portfolios will have to crystallize progressively in order to be fully incorporated in valuations/quotations. Caution will also be needed with regard to the high prices being paid for certain assets. Financing will be key to developing the pipeline of these firms. In Spain, many projects will not materialise given the high demand for existing MWs.

Finally, it is not only worth investing in large-scale renewable energies. Small consumers have also benefited in the last year thanks to the new law on Compensation of surpluses in self-consumption. If we add to this the evolution of technology and the reduction in prices over the last few years, we have a favourable situation for investing in clean energy.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.