• Alvaro Nadal, the Spanish energy minister, said that the country would see a new tender of 3,000 MW capacity being launched in the first half of 2017
  • The renewable power auction will be technology neutral
  • Nadal said he aims to put focus on energy efficiency as a priority area in national politics, bet on renewable energies and improve conditions for energy consumers

Newly appointed Spanish Minister of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, Alvaro Nadal has announced that the government is preparing to launch a 3,000 MW renewable energy auction. The renewables tender is scheduled for the first half of 2017 and will be technology neutral.

Unlike in Germany or France, where solar is tendered in separate auctions, in Spain multiple renewable energy sources will directly compete against each other.

Spain is looking at achieving 20% share of renewable energy by 2020 in its total energy consumption. According to the ministry, the share of renewables in 2014 was 17.3%.

The government explained its threefold focus on energy as placing energy efficiency as a priority in national politics, bet on renewable energies and improve conditions for energy consumers. This summarizes the concept of energy transition and how it should be achieved, according to the energy ministry.

Earlier there were speculations that the government would be holding two renewable energy auctions, one of at least 1,000 MW capacity in December 2016 and the other one in January 2017. In January 2016, it held a power auction, which was open only to wind and biomass.

If the tender would be based on a pure pay-as-bid scheme, solar would likely score high compared to wind when looking at LCOEs of recent international solar auctions. But the Spanish government has killed the solar market in the last years with several actions, including retroactive measures. Instead, the few Spanish utility companies had been able to expand their wind power portfolios.