Sep 10, 2014 - Alberto Nadal, secretary of state for energy in Spain, said it had met on Monday representatives from local banks Santander (MCE:SAN), CaixaBank (MCE:CABK), BBVA (MCE:BBVA) and Bankia (MCE:BKIA) to discuss how to evade insolvencies in the renewable energy sector.
The industry ministry, together with the main financial players in the country, are trying to find solutions to save the renewable projects that face financial difficulties after the energy reform in the country and the retroactive cuts to the offered incentives.
Yesterday Nadal said, at the opening of a renewable energy event organised by business daily Expansion, that the financial entities have confirmed that the bulk of the projects may be refinanced. However, speaking to Expansion, he acknowledged that there might be projects with debt issues that may not be able to regularly meet their credit obligations.
According to data quoted by the Spanish media, the credit exposure of Spanish banks to the renewables sector in the country is EUR 20 billion (USD 25.91bn). Some 5% of that sum, or EUR 1 billion, relates to projects with serious refinancing problems. If the calculation included also projects that used debt from non-Spanish financial institutions, the figure could reach between EUR 40 billion or EUR 45 billion.
Early in June 2014, Spain passed a decree that reduced subsidies for new and existing renewable power plants retroactively as of July 2013. The bill envisages a rate of return for clean energy plants of 7.5% over their lives. These measures are part of a bigger plan that aims to cure an EUR-30-billion (USD 38.9bn) electricity tariff deficit.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.296)
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