Feed-in tariff (Régimen Especial)Updated: 12.12.2011
In Spain, the generation of electricity from renewable sources is mainly promoted through a price regulation system.
- System capacity must not exceed 50 MW. Only systems whose capacity does not exceed 50 MW are eligible (art. 27 Ley 54/1997). Moreover, a system's capacity shall be within the statutory maximum capacity set for the respective source of energy.
- Guaranteed Feed-in tariff for solar power. Electricity generated by photovoltaic systems shall be purchased at a guaranteed feed-in tariff, which is adjusted for new systems every quarter (RD 1578/2008).
- Right to choose for systems that generate up to 50 MW. Operators of systems that generate electricity from renewable sources other than photovoltaic energy and whose capacity does not exceed 50 MW may choose between the guaranteed feed-in tariff and a bonus, which is paid on top of the price achieved in the free market (art. 24 RD 661/2007 in connection with art. 45 RD 661/2007).
- Bonus for systems that generate 50 to 100 MW. Operators of systems whose capacity is 50 to 100 MW are only entitled to a bonus for high system efficiency and for the use of reactive energy (art. 28, 29 RD 661/2007), which is pais on top of the sale price.
Except for operators of solar power systems, system operators may choose between two feed-in tariffs. A system operator's decision is binding for one year (art. 24, art. 26 par. 3 RD 661/2007).
- Guaranteed feed-in tariff. RD 661/2007 provides guaranteed tariffs in terms of state-regulated minimum tariffs for each source of energy (arts. 35-43 RD 661/2007).
- Variable feed-in tariff. Operators of hydro-electricity and biomass systems may also opt for a variable, time-dependent tariff, which is set by statutory law. This tariff is composed of different elements, which depend on the time of day and the season (art. 26 RD 661/2007 in connection with First Final Provision of RD 1578/2008).
In Spain, all technologies are generally eligible, with the following exceptions:
- Technology-specific capacity limits. If the market cap set by the government for the respective system type is reached, the exceeding amount of electricity will not be eligible for subsidies (art. 22, 35-42 RD 661/2007; arts. 5, 10 RD 1578/2008).
- System-specific capacity limits. All systems that generate electricity from renewable sources and whose installed capacity does not exceed 50 MW are eligible for support (art. 27.1 Ley 54/1997; art. 45 RD 661/2007). Systems whose capacity exceeds this limit are not eligible.
- Direct sales. In pursuance of "Régimen Especial", electricity that is transferred and sold directly is not eligible for subsidies (§ 24 par. 3 RD 661/2007).
|Wind energy||Both onshore and offshore wind energy systems are eligible until the market cap of 20,155 MW of installed capacity is reached (art 38 RD 661/2007).|
Both photovoltaic and solar-thermal electricity generation (art. 2 RD 661/2007) are eligible, if the system capacity does not exceed the following limits:
|Geothermal energy||Eligible, including hot-dry-rock energy (art. 2 RD 661/2007). Statutory law does not specify a market cap.|
|Biogas||Eligible, if the main fuel is bio-fuel or biogas from anaerobic digestion of agricultural and livestock wastes, bio-degradable industrial waste and sewage sludge or landfill gas. Biogas and biomass from manure are eligible for subsidies until the cap of 250 MW (for both sources combined) is reached (arts. 2, 41 RD 661/2007).|
|Hydro-electricity||Systems whose primary source of energy is wave energy, tidal energy, ocean thermal energy and ocean current energy are eligible. Traditional hydro-electric stations are also eligible, if their entry capacity does not exceed 50 MW (arts. 2 b) 3, 45.2 RD 661/2007). Hydro-electricity systems that generate up to 10 MW are eligible for subsidies until the market cap of 2,400 MW is reached (art. 40 RD 661/2007).|
Eligible. Biomass from energy crops, agricultural or gardening waste, residues from forest harvesting, other silvicultural operations in woodlands and agricultural areas, or waste from industrial plants are eligible for subsidies until the total capacity reaches 1371 MW (arts. 2, 41 RD 661/2007).
Biomass from manure and biogas are eligible for subsidies until the total capacity (of both sources) reaches 250 MW (arts. 2, 41 RD 661/2007).
The tariff differs according to the source of energy (arts. 35, -44 RD 661/2007 in connection with the website of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade). The guaranteed feed-in tariffs for the individual renewable energy sources are listed below.
|Geothermal energy||Geothermal power.|
Hydro-electricity (up to 10 MW).
Different caps are in place for each technology. Time limits related to these caps are not provided. Further details and legal references are provided in the secion on eligibility.
- Wind: 20,155 MW
- Systems registered in the register of systems prior to 29.09.2008. 371 MW for photovoltaic energy, 500 MW for solar-thermal systems.
- Systems registered in the register of systems after 29.09.2008 (PV only). The capacity limits for the different system types are re-defined during the review as part of the application conditions every quarter (art. 5 RD 1578/2008, Annex III RD 1578/2008). Prior to the end of an application period the market caps specified for each system type are published on the website of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (art. 5 RD 1578/2008).
- Feed-in tariff for the actual period of operation. The feed-in tariffs are paid during the entire time of operation of a system. The payment starts on the date of commissioning of the system. It is reduced after a certain period of operation specified by statutory law (photovoltaic energy 30 years for systems registered before 29.09.2009; hydro-electricity: 25 years; wind energy: 20 years; geothermal energy: 20 years; biomass: 15 years).
- PV systems registered after 29.09.2009: 25 years (art. 11 RD 1578/2007). During the period of payment, the feed-in tariffs are subject to adjustments (art. 44 RD 661/2007, art. 12 RD 1578/2008).
- Bonus for a limited time of operation. Eligibility for the payment of a bonus ends after 15, 20, 25 or 28 years of system operation, depending on the source of energy used (see above in this section).
Entitled party. The persons entitled are those system operators that meet the following requirements:
- Systems shall come under "Régimen Especial". The system in question shall come under the definition laid down by art 27.1 Ley 54/2007 in connection with art. 2 RD 661/2007. Systems come under this definition if they meet the following requirements:
- Technology. The primary source of energy used by the system in question shall be a renewable source as specified by the regulation (art. 2 RD 661/2007).
- Official classification. Systems shall be classified as coming under "Régimen Especial" by official notice (arts. 6, 14 par. 1 RD 661/2007).
- Connection to a central control system. All systems that generate electricity as specified under "Régimen Especial" and whose capacity exceeds 10 MW shall be connected to a central control system, which shall be the interface with the system operator. The control system shall provide real-time system information and make sure that the system operator's instructions are implemented in such a way as to guarantee the reliability of the grid (art. 18 RD 661/2007).
- Register of systems. Systems shall be registered in the register of systems. The register of systems is an official register kept by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (art. 9 RD 661/2007). Autonomous regions may also keep such a register (art. 10 RD 661/2007). Registration of a system in the register of systems is usually carried out in two steps:
- Preliminary registration. On request at the authority in charge, the system is preliminarily registered. The authority issues a notice on the registration. To be preliminarily registered, the applicant shall present the document on commencement of trial operation and prove that the technical contract with the grid operator on access to the grid has been concluded (art. 11 RD 661/2007). Preliminary registration is cancelled if final registration is not applied for within three months after the issuing of the notice on preliminary registration (art. 13 RD 661/2007)
- Final registration.On request at the authority in charge, the system is finally registered in the register of systems. The authority shall decide on the registration within one month after the application (art. 12.2 RD 661/2007). The authority shall issue a notice on the registration (art 12.3 RD 661/2007.) One of the preconditions for final registration is the presentation of the document on commencement of regular operation of the system (art. 132 RD 1955/2000; art. 12.2 RD 661/2007).
- Register of systems entitled to the feed-in tariff (photovoltaic systems only). Photovoltaic systems registered in the register of systems after 29.09.2008 are eligible for promotion only if they have also been admitted to a part of the register of systems called "the register of systems entitled to the feed-in tariff". This register aims at selecting systems for the feed-in tariff until the annual market cap for electricity from photovoltaic sources is reached. The systems are selected chronologically, i.e. the system that has been entitled the longest according to the documents submitted in the course of the application for registration will be selected first (art. 6 RD 1578/2008). If the cap is not reached in one year, the remaining capacity may be used in a subsequent year.
Obligated party. The persons obligated are the operators of distribution and transmission grids (depending on the level at which electricity is fed in), (art. 17 RD 661/2007).
The costs of the feed-in tariff for electricity from renewable sources are borne by the consumers.