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Pablo Del Río

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Pablo del Río

Spain had a long tradition in supporting electricity from renewable energy sources (RES-E) through a feed-in tariff scheme since the 1990s. However, this came to an end after a moratorium on support for RES-E was passed in 2012. This led to virtually an absence of new RES-E installations being built in the Spanish territory. The new support scheme based on auctions which took place in January 2016 put an end to this moratorium and 700 MW of RES-E were awarded contracts. A further 3000MW were auctioned in May 2017. The aim of this article is to contextualise the choices of design elements used in the first and second auctions for renewable electricity in Spain, considering the international experiences from around the world and to assess such choices as well as the outcomes of both auctions, whose success strongly depends on the design elements being implemented.

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Pablo del Río

The third renewable electricity auction in Spain awarded 5037 MW in July 2017. This makes it the largest by awarded volume in Europe. The aim of this article is to describe this auction, analyse the choice of its design elements and provide a preliminary assessment of its outcome. It draws on several information sources, including relevant legislation, reports from the energy regulator, expert interviews and articles in the mass media. The results show some pros and cons in the choice of design elements. Whereas support costs have been minimized, its effectiveness in deploying renewable electricity in the country still has to be proven.

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Pablo del Río and Christoph Kiefer

In its recently published draft on an Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC in its Spanish acronym), the Spanish government outlines the main elements of the design of RES-E auctions for the 2021-2030 period. The aim of this paper is to compare the design of the future auctions with past auctions in Spain (organized in 2016 and 2017) and with the international experiences, and to assess their advantages and drawbacks. In addition to eff ectiveness and minimization of support costs (which were also goals in the previous auctions), promotion of actor diversity and flexibility of dispatch are explicitly mentioned as government goals. It is found out that the main design choices of the future auctions, as envisaged in the PNIEC, entail a rupture with the auctions which were organized in the past in Spain. In general, they will be less complex and more aligned with the international experiences than the previous auctions. In particular, organizing auctions within a medium and long-term energy planning strategy and a multiannual schedule of auctions, auctioning and remunerating generation and not capacity and explicitly promoting technological and actor diversity imply a key departure with respect to previous auctions and are deemed appropriate choices. However, many details on the design elements are still unknown, as they will be provided in future pieces of legislation.

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Pablo del Río, Desiderio Romero, Marta Jorge and Mercedes Burguillo