Thu. Feb 20th, 2020

Controversy before a possible photovoltaic bubble | Economy

Last Thursday, Red Eléctrica de España (REE) made public the evolution of renewable energies in 2019. According to its data, the 5.6% increase in national installed power (historical record with a value of 110 gigawatts) has been due to the increase in renewable installed capacity, thus fulfilling the objectives established in the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) by 2030. During that period, REE has managed and allowed the commissioning of 6,456 MW of renewable generation, 6,126 MW more than the previous year.

Ecological proclamation of a banker in Davos. “We have a limited period, until 2030, to complete this transition [ecológica]” Carlos Torres Vila, president of BBVA, in his participation in a table discussion of the economic forum of Davos, which has become almost obligatory for large banks and companies. BBVA and Santander, for example, are never lacking and take the opportunity to highlight current trends. For Torres, the presiding entity has the obligation to “advise clients that this transition is an integral part of their strategy”. Then he warned that there is time to adapt business to the new reality.

Energy leaders for greater efficiency. How can leaders in the energy and environment sector collaborate to create greater energy efficiency? The question was raised in Davos, where in addition to bankers, Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, and Naturgy, Francisco Reynés, were also responsible for stressing the vital importance of the fight against climate change and measures to curb global warming . In that sense, they supported the declaration of climatic emergency, although warning that it is not limited only to the energy sector.

Posts: double-edged expansion. The impulse achieved by Correos in the last year has led her to erase the red numbers and continue thinking about growing. Before the fall of the traditional mail the company that presides over Juan Manuel Serrano focused on the parcel (almost 20% has risen), the international expansion (Portugal and China) and the entry into other businesses such as logistics and intermediation. This, however, can become a double-edged sword that the company will have to calibrate accurately so as not to incur actions against the competition.

“Since the deployment of new renewable facilities must be maintained throughout the decade, Red Eléctrica continues to work on improving the commissioning process,” says the statement released by the company that chairs Jordi Seville. According to REE, as of December 31, 2019, a total of 34.2 gigawatts (25.5 GW of wind and 8.7 GW of photovoltaic) were in service. But, in addition, the company has granted an access permit for another 24.7 of wind and 77.3 of photovoltaic. That means that permits have been granted for more than double what is contemplated in the PNIEC. The calculations suggest that by 2030 both photovoltaic and wind power are around 40 GW each technology. That is to say, in the case of wind power, 10 GW have already been granted more than expected and, in the case of photovoltaics, about 46 GW above.

The regulations indicate that to obtain the access permits granted by REE, it is only necessary to present some guarantees (Minister Álvaro Nadal raised them from 10,000 to 40,000 euros) or a bond without the need for more requirements, such as the location or environmental authorizations and of heritage. Being a filter so little demanding, permission requests have multiplied.

There the controversy occurs. Why are so many permits granted if they are not all going to be exploited? The fear lies in the fact that many speculative purchases have been made and a bubble can be produced for the resale of permits. That sensation has spread mainly in the environment of the big electric companies, probably because they are usually the calls to acquire the permits or the assets of the winners of auctions that they did not attend or lost. The question that arises is whether more auctions have to be made. The power companies reject them because they do not want to lose market, although they later buy the connection points, and because they have the capacity to invest in the free market.

However, the trend is that there are more auctions. The reasoning is that they allow investors to enter the market, otherwise they have less financial possibilities to do so. The question lies in whether these auctions are made on capacity (such as those carried out so far) or on energy, such as the one that was done in Portugal that guarantee a land, with minimal price.

Red Eléctrica has granted authorizations for more than double those planned

“What there is is a release of a market restriction”

Large power companies reject auctions because they do not want to lose market and because they have the capacity to invest in the free market

In that sense, there are authorized sources that disagree with the existence of a potential bubble. “What there is is a release of a market restriction and not a bubble,” says one of them, adding that “the market is regulated by the market itself with the law of supply and demand.” And if the offer is increasing, the price will go down to the point that the marketing will not be profitable. These sources point out that before the resale was guaranteed a good price; but now it is not like that, if there is no resale there can be no bubble. The recent sale of assets by ACS to Galp for 750,000 euros per MW, already reflects the downward trend. There are also many years left to develop new projects, which also dissipates the bubble.

The photovoltaics, gathered at UNEF, which are main actors, in addition to showing harmony with the CNMC circular of access and connection (pending the resolution of the conflict of competences that exists between the regulatory body and the Ministry for Ecological Transition) It raises measures to resolve discrepancies. According to its CEO, Jose Donoso, “The important thing is that there is no need to wait five years to see if a project that has received a connection point is carried out or not, since it is occupying a place that could be used by another project and giving an image of projects in progress that does not correspond to reality, which can lead to erroneous energy policy decisions, in addition to favoring speculators. ” To avoid this, he believes that there must be a series of intermediate milestones that presuppose the need to identify the projects and carry out previous work before requesting the connection points.

Regulators already have their portrait room

Controversy before a possible photovoltaic bubble

José María Marín brought together the former presidents of the former Competition, Energy and Telecommunications commissions to inaugurate a room with his portraits and, incidentally, comment on the progress in surveillance and regulation tasks and speculate on the future (or future) occupant of the position. In the photo, from left to right, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, Liborio Hierro, Reinaldo Rodríguez, Maite Costa, Marín, Gonsalo Solana, Carlos Bustelo, Joaquín García bernardo de Quirós, Bernardo Lorenzo and Luis Berenguer.


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