The Ministry for Ecological Transition plans to allocate 150 million euros to facilitate the repowering of old wind farms, renovate mini-hydro generation facilities, and to recycle blades and other components of wind turbines.
The third vice president and head of that Department, Teresa Ribera, has advanced that this Thursday has been launched a new public consultation to see how to improve the use of resources for this purpose, while stressing that this call will inaugurate those for the private sector in the context of the circular economy.
As the minister explained during her participation in the III International Expansion Forum, these 150 million, included within the opportunities opened up by the Recovery Plan and which will be allocated to projects in competitive competition, will allow at least 435 megawatts (MW) of wind power to be repowered, 50 MW of hydroelectric power to be renovated, and an annual recycling capacity of around 19,000 tons of blades and other wind turbine composite materials.
The minister, who added that this aid is part of the Government's Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR) and the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy, said that this call represents a "relevant signal" for the sector and will allow at least 435 megawatts (MW) of wind power to be repowered and another 50 MW of hydroelectric power to be renewed, as well as an annual recycling capacity of about 19,000 tons of blades and other wind turbine composite materials.
Ribera highlighted that since 2018 Spain has increased its renewable installed capacity from 46.7% to 57.2%, with the installation of 238% more photovoltaic power and 23% more wind power.
Specifically, this aid plan is divided into three aid programs for the repowering of wind power facilities, the technological and environmental renewal of mini-hydroelectric plants of up to 10 MW and innovative wind turbine blade recycling facilities.
The aids will be granted on a competitive basis and the actions should be completed before December 31, 2025, respecting the principle of 'not causing significant damage' to the environment, according to the proposed order.
The aids of these programs will be financed with the European Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, given that the actions are contemplated within Investment 1 of Component 7 (C7.I1) "for the development of innovative renewable energies, integrated in the building and in the productive processes".
In addition, the initiative contributes positively and transversally to the objectives of storage with renewable energy sources related to Component 8, "deployment of energy storage" and to the objectives of deployment of the circular economy in Spain related to Component 12, "support plan for the implementation of waste regulations and the promotion of the circular economy".
Reducing dependence on fossil fuels
On the other hand, Ribera insisted on the need to "reduce dependence" on fossil fuels, something that has not been able to be done in the last 50 years.
In this sense, he stressed that we must bet on "changing the paradigm" and "accelerate" the energy transition, although it is something that not only depends on scientists and governments, but "it is a change that depends on the whole society".
"We must urgently adopt an attitude to accelerate the energy transition, to have reasonable and stable prices in the long term, and the European framework is very conducive to this," he said in this regard.
Ribera also stressed that water is one "of the priorities" of the Government's roadmap and that investment must be made in "the proper use of one of the most precious assets".
Ribera also referred to the recent acceptance by the European Commission of the mechanism to cap the price of gas for electricity generation in Spain and Portugal, which is estimated to reduce the bill of consumers with regulated tariffs by between 15% and 20%.