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Sour decade for wind power industry in Spain

Wind capacity in Spain 1998-2017.

February 1 (Renewables Now) - Spain’s wind industry saw its contribution to the country’s GDP and job creation reduced with time, while the tax burden increased, according to a macroeconomic study presented by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) and Claner, an Andalusian pro-renewables nonprofit.

The macroeconomic study, drawn up by auditing firm Deloitte for the AEE, covers the wind industry’s evolution from 2005 to 2017 and its contribution to Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP), job creation, tax revenues and the balance of payment.

Wind power may have been Spain’s top source of electricity last December and the second behind nuclear for the whole of 2018, but the industry itself has been through some difficult times in the past decade. The wind power companies have subsisted on exports as there have been no notable increases in installed wind capacity in Spain over the years, the AEE study says. In 2017, 66 MW of wind capacity was installed, an increase from 38 MW in 2016 and 0 MW in 2015, but a far cry from the good years for Spanish wind with annual installations in gigawatts.

Job creation, both direct and indirect, peaked in 2008 when wind was employing 41,438 people. By 2017, that number had dropped to 22,578. The wind industry’s share in the GDP also decreased from 0.34% in 2008 to its lowest level of 0.22% in 2016, but recovered to 0.31% in 2017.

The study shows that for every EUR 1,000 (USD 1,147) of revenue, wind power producers allocate EUR 160 to taxes.

In early January 2019, the Spanish ecological transition ministry presented a draft bill to determine the remuneration rates that would guarantee reasonable profitability for renewable power systems. The AEE welcomed the changes.

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Sladjana is the newest addition to the Renewables Now team. She has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry.

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