Spanish govt approves public-private funding tool for green energy transition

The Cruz de Carrutero wind farm in Palencia, Spain. Image by Iberdrola (www.iberdrola.com)

December 15 (Renewables Now) - The Spanish government has approved a new financing tool under its recovery and resilience facility aimed at supporting projects and initiatives in the areas of renewable energy, green hydrogen and energy storage in the hope that the combined public and private investment would lead to a favourable nationwide impact on Spain’s energy transition.

The tool, dubbed the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation, also known as PERTE for its acronym in Spanish, was first introduced in late 2020 in the royal decree-law regulating the implementation of the COVID-19 recovery plan. PERTEs are a new instrument for the public-private collaboration to identify projects of strategic importance that can act as a driving force for the rest of the economy, create jobs and spur growth and competitiveness.

The PERTE tool specifically tailored to target renewables, hydrogen and storage technologies was proposed by the Spanish ministry for the ecological transition and approved by the government’s cabinet on Tuesday.

Under the plan, the government is allocating over EUR 6.9 billion (USD 7.77bn) in public funds to innovative green energy technologies, expecting that the money would further mobilise close to EUR 9.5 billion from the private sector.

The funds will be awarded through competitive tendering procedures to select the best projects, the ministry for the ecological transition said. Selection criteria in all tenders will include a demonstration of SMEs involvement, commitment to a just transition, job creation, innovation and a medium to long-term impact of goals set by the project.

Most of the state aid amount will be awarded between 2022 and 2023, while the projects will be executed by 2026.

The bulk of the total sum will go towards the development of renewable hydrogen projects -- roughly EUR 1.56 billion of public money. Projects in this area can range from heavy-duty transport decarbonisation, development of large-scale electrolysis plants, renewable hydrogen hubs, staff training in new technologies, among others.

Renewables will receive up to EUR 765 million in state aid, but the focus of this PERTE will be on innovation and singular projects, the ministry said. These projects can range anywhere from strengthening the nation’s capacity to manufacture equipment associated with renewables, wind turbine blade recycling, the extraction of biogas from agricultural activity to developing testing platforms for marine energies.

Finally, EUR 620 million will be awarded to infrastructure, power system flexibility, intelligent networks and energy storage technologies. Subsidies will be granted to the research and development (R&D) of not yet mature storage tech, including commercial pilot projects and industrial research, and the roll-out of storage systems whether stand-alone or hybridised with renewables, among others.

The remainder of the funds will go to regions, state agencies and various government actions.

The ministry for the ecological transition expects the funding under this PERTE to enable the creation of over 280,000 jobs all over the Spanish economy, and build an energy transition that is "designed & made in Spain".

It says that 60% of solar PV technology and 90% of wind energy equipment is manufactured in Spain, and that the country is the third in Europe when it comes to R&D. All of this gives Spain an advantage to develop green hydrogen, and can put the country at the forefront of clean energy innovation, according to the ministry.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.126)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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