Spain’s reversal of plans for a windfall tax on power providers leaves utilities facing modest extra payments rather than multibillion-euro tax bills. Iberdrola SA, one of Spain’s biggest utilities, is a case in point, says Scope Ratings. Enel SpA, the Italian parent of Spanish utility Endesa, has provided less information though it is sticking to an EBITDA forecast for its Spanish activities issued before the energy levy was announced.
Banco Sabadell | The Ministry of Transition has begun the round of negotiations with the electricity companies (last week it was the turn of Endesa, Acciona and EDP and today it will be the turn of Naturgy and Iberdrola). The idea is to try to reach an agreement before next Thursday, which is when the gas Royal Decree will be ratified. Among the sector’s proposals, Iberdrola proposes supplying nuclear production at a closed long-term price to small consumers with less than 10 kW of power under the regulated tariff. A bilateral contract, in line with what France does, where the price would cover its fixed and variable costs and possible life extensions (c. 60 euros/MWh). This proposal eliminates the risk for power plants and would leave hydro and renewables free to market. The risk is that there would be a migration from the free to the regulated domestic segment (now 38%).
On Tuesday, the Ministry for Ecological Transition presented a draft bill to the Council of Ministers to put an end to windfall profits, i.e. to put an end to the over-remuneration of nuclear and hydroelectric power in order to reduce consumers’ electricity bills, which have risen considerably, among other things, due to the increase in CO2 emissions.According to government sources, the proposal would respect the European regulatory framework (where there should be no discrimination by technology) and would be similar to that existing between 2006/2009, with the reduction of a part of the CO2 “dividend” to non-emitting plants prior to 2005 that sell energy on the market.
Banco Sabadell | A federal court in Mexico has temporarily suspended the government’s legislative reform for the electricity sector. The reform would prioritise energy production by state-owned company CFE when it comes to feeding energy into the grid. In turn this would harm private renewable generation firms which, by producing more cheaply, would enter the market earlier. The impact of for the Spanish firms with presence in the Mexican market, Iberdrola, Acciona and Naturgy is limited.
Renta4 | According to media reports, the Spanish electricity company is in preliminary conversations with Neoelectra and SDCL to sell its electricty co-generation business in Spain, where it has 19 plants producing 368 MW.
The National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC in its acronym in Spanish) is processing a circular so that all energy companies which supply electricity, gas and hydrocarbons meet six ratios which constrain their level of debt and dividends in relations to the volume of assets, cash flow, EBITDA or financial costs.
The majority of the population in Spain put the blame for their excessively high electricity bills exclusively on the electricity companies which, in the end, only get paid a third of the bill for generation. This situation has enraged the companies who are more and more daring in their criticisms of the government – the current and previous ones – for their energy policies.
Spain’s main political parties PP, PSOE and Cuidadanos, with the exception of Podemos, have agreed to reform the electricity tariff discount rate, as well prohibit electricity cuts for those consumers considered “very vulnerable.” Analysts at ACF believe it will be important to confirm the final conditions and the net impact for the electricity companies, but a priori they don’t expect this will be significant.
UBS | The regulator CNMC has kicked off an investigation on the competitive status of the Spanish power generation market. Endesa and Gas Natural Fenosa, the companies most exposed to it.
MADRID | The Corner | The Spanish Council of Ministers has approved the definitive figure for the 2013 tariff deficit. The figure, €3.54 billion, will be recoverable via the electricity tariff over a period of 15 years. It will be remunerated at 2.195% of interest rate. The measure will have an impact on the main utilities that operate in Spain: EDP (Ba1 p, BB+ e, BBB- e), Enel (Baa2 n, BBB e, BBB+ e), Gas Natural Fenosa (Baa2 e, BBB e, BBB+ e) and Iberdrola (Baa1 n, BBB e, BBB+ e).