Spain’s Industry Ministry has upset the country’s burgeoning wind power sector by announcing that it intends to slash subsidies by 40 percent.
Wind power companies accuse the Ministry of Industry of crippling the sector and putting 15,000 jobs at risk.
While wind turbines operating in Spain are subject to seasonal variations, this year Spain’s total electricity generated by wind power was more than 42,702 gigawatt hours. Spain’s largest wind power producers are Gamesa, Vestas, Alston Wind and GE Wind.
Wind power companies note that the increasing use of large wind turbines of 2 megawatts of nominal power, increasing prices of raw materials, a shortage of major components and the rising demand for wind turbines have all increased prices for wind power generators, making subsidies essential. The average cost per kilowatt installed during 2010 in Spain was about 1.25 euros per kilowatt hour.
The Asociacion Empresarial Eolica (Wind Energy Association) states that if the subsidies were cut, the net result would be a halt in investment and a sharp brake on the new capacity as mapped out in official plans, Madrid’s El Pais newspaper reported. Accordingly, the trade group has labeled the Ministry of Industry proposal “unacceptable.”
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