News From Spain – 15,000 MW in grid connection points have been "freed up" since February 2023.

published on 10th July 2023

Pursuant to Royal Decree-Law (RDL) 23/2020, renewable energy projects for which the grid connection and grid access point had been allocated before 25/06/2020, have 31 months to apply for and to obtain an environmental permit (DIA). Projects which failed to evidence this milestone by 25 January 2023 have been automatically deprived of “punto de conexión y acceso”. Although the deadline was extended by 6 months, public administration authorities did not manage to bring the overload of applications under control. In the fast track procedure in December 2022 and January 2023 still hundreds of applications for DIA were rubber-stamped. However, as it was announced today, many projects failed to pass this hurdle. 

According to the information from the grid operator Red Electrica (REE), 15,000 MW in permits were revoked, including 5 GW attributable to wind and 10 GW to PV grid connection points. The respective grid operators (REE, Endesa, Iberdrola) will now advertise on their websites free grid capacities to apply for, unless free grid points should be allocated to developers at a grid capacity auction. 

Further deadlines set under RDL 23/2000 are running; the next relevant deadlines refer to the granting of temporary permit and operating permit (autorización administrativa previa y de construcción) which must be obtained by 25/04 or by 25/07/2023. Possibly further access points will be up for grabs again after the expiry of these deadlines.

Irrespective of the problems with the deadlines encountered by developers in Spain, the signs of the cannibalisation effect are now becoming increasingly clearly visible in Spain. During last weekends, prices of EUR 0 were more frequently quoted on the spot market, e.g. on Sunday, 14/05 between 10:00 and 18:00 hours. (Here is a link to the market operator showing the price curve for Sunday 14/05). On average, solar energy in sunny hours from 10:00 to 18.00 in the last three months accounted for up to 40% of the generated energy and 70% in peak times. Currently, the installed PV capacity corresponds to 16% of Spain's installed capacity, this means that it grew in the last 5 years by 4%.

Therefore, it is logical that more and more operators are interested in storage media or H2 generation to be able to generate profit in the future amid an increasingly volatile market. This probably holds true also for the grid security as alongside the spot market prices of EUR 0 also in the case of PV and wind turbines (so far predominantly) large-scale curtailments are observed on weekends. 

Find out which marketing models work in Spain.


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