- An El Mundo reports counts MITECO scurrying to process and clear permits for nearly 100 GW renewable energy capacity
- It aims to clear the processing work before the deadline of January 25, 2023 for projects of over 50 MW capacity
- The ministry is trying to avoid a situation where if it is unable to provide requisite clearances before the deadline, developers may lose bank guarantees and sue the government
Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) is on a spree to grant environmental and other permits to as much as 100 GW large scale renewable energy capacity before the deadline of January 25, 2023. If it failed, developers may lose bank guarantees and sue the government, reports Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
According to the news report, MITECO head Teresa Ribera has appealed to her staff to fast-track these projects, especially grant Environmental Impact Statements (EIA) for projects of over 50 MW capacity whose applications have piled up at her office, dubbing it operation 25-E.
Since these projects already have grid access permits, it is mainly the non-receipt of the EIA that stops them from going ahead with project construction. Developers fear major financial loss with late paperwork on behalf of the ministry, which means the Spanish government can be dragged to the court by the former. And, some of this capacity may not be realized any time soon.
Notably, the ministry is dealing with bureaucratic processes it set in place to begin with, with an aim to weed-out non-serious players from renewables space and avoid ‘speculative requests’. However, it was not ready to deal with the fast-growing demand for renewables without easing the permitting processes (see Spain Approves Decree To Push For Renewables).
El Mundo also writes that Ribera is not in favor of providing any extension beyond January 25, 2023.
In October 2022, MITECO secured approval of its +SE energy security plan through which it plans to streamline processing of renewable energy projects and make strategic projects viable by modifying 2021-2026 Electricity Plan (see Solar Rooftops Get Another Boost Under Spanish Plan).
Recently, the ministry also suffered a setback in the 3.3 GW 4th renewable energy auction with only 2 onshore wind projects winning 45.5 MW capacity in total (see Spain’s 4th Renewables Auction, A Major Disappointment).