Spain’s energy regulator has rejected an attempt by the government to prop up the nation’s oldest and most polluting coal power plants, stating that Spain’s massive overcapacity means it can safely close a “significant part of the existing coal fleet” without undermining security of supply, write Gerard Wynn of IEEFA (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis), Paolo Coghe of Paris-based independent consultancy Acousmatics, and Carlota Ruiz-Bautista of environmental law centre IIDMA (Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medio Ambiente) in Madrid. The statement by the Comisión Nacional de Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) is significant, given a long history of Spanish government intervention to support domestic coal extraction, and to support coal-fired power generation burning both domestic and imported coal. The CNMC statement appears favourable for one Spanish electric utility, Iberdrola, which wants to close its last two remaining coal plants, while making another, Endesa, look out of step. Endesa wants to extend the life of three of its coal power plants, arguing this is important to preserve Spain’s security of supply.
Energy Post 29th Jan 2018 read more »