Risk of blackouts: the Ministry passes the 'hot potato' to the Canary Islands Executive

Risk of blackouts: the Ministry passes the 'hot potato' to the Canary Islands Executive

The Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (Miteco) has assured that "both the selection of temporary emergency measures due to possible deficits in electrical generation power in the Canary Islands and their implementation in the territory are competence of the autonomous government.

In the case of these emergency measures, the Ministry explains that it is only responsible "to authorize the coverage of costs charged to the electrical system"which he calculated in a draft ministerial order.

This is what the Spanish Government department wanted to "clarify" in a statement after the president of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, urged the Administration to prevent the Canary Islands from suffering a disaster in 2024. energy deficit of 300 megawatts.

The Ministry admits that in 2021 REE confirmed the need to increase the electrical power installed in the Canary Islands and assures that, since then, this department, together with the regional Government, "has sought to offer answers consistent with the concerns expressed by the Canary Islands, seeking the more effective solutions to a situation that is highly complexboth from a technical and legal point of view."

To this end, "it has always responded to each and every one of the Ministry's meeting requests and has held multiple telephone conversations at different decision levels (technical and political) with the regional officials", so that "in 2021 three meetings, another two in 2022 and four during 2023.

In addition, he assures that "he has maintained constant contact for all kinds of ordinary and extraordinary matters in the areas of his competence, providing solutions to the Canary Islands authorities«, an interview in which »he confirmed that the proposals put forward by the Canary Islands Executive on electrical power were not legally viable«, which was »transmitted and explained to the proposing Ministry«, states the statement.

Despite all this, the Ministry maintains that "it has taken measures to guarantee the electricity supply to Canarian citizens, respecting the legal guarantees and the regulatory framework agreed with Europe."

The department headed by acting Minister Teresa Ribera recalls that "both the selection of the temporary emergency measures provided for in the reference standard for the generation of electricity in the Islands "and their implementation in the territory is the responsibility of the regional government." , while the Ministry is only responsible "for authorizing the coverage of costs charged to the electrical system", which it calculated in a draft ministerial order.

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A solution, the notes add, that "the Ministry ruled out, requesting that it be the Government of the Nation who, by Royal Decree-Law, granted the additional specific remuneration regime to the new plants, without subjecting it to a competitive competition procedure," One option "hardly justifiable from a legal and jurisdictional point of view"so the Ministry conveyed "its unviability" to the Canary Islands Government.

«The legislative action demanded was neither viable nor in accordance with what was authorized by the European Commission. Any decision on this matter must comply with the Commission's report on RD 738/2015 authorized, after years of work by the Ministry, to unblock a procedure whose processing lasted five years, including multiple meetings of the minister, the Secretary of State and the technical teams, with their counterparts responsible for State Aid and competition.

Any action outside the regulatory framework approved by the Commission requires a new authorization procedure according to the regulations on state aid, the Ministry emphasizes.

Furthermore, it warns that, "once the Commission has resolved the file by establishing the framework of authorized interventions, Spain cannot deviate from what was approved or, therefore, resort again to the exceptional solution of 2018."

In accordance with this regulatory regime supported by the European Commission, the Ministry "has designed, together with the Canarian Government, the long-term new power contests«and any »additional solution in the short term must be compatible with the 2020 decision of the European Commission on the conformity of RD 738/2015, with the State Aid framework«.

However, "the proposals submitted so far by the Canary Islands Government have been manifestly contrary, which would have required a new authorization procedure and, therefore, the risk of not being able to be put into practice for years," the note states.