The expansion of renewables in Aragon, the region where the sector has grown the most in Spain, is under question due to several complaints about alleged irregularities in the awarding of wind farms. The figures speak for themselves: the region leads the installation of these infrastructures with 13% of the country's energy generation, with 44% exported. Now, in addition, all the spotlights point to the procedures initiated during the government of Socialist Javier Lambán after the opening of a parliamentary investigation commission, driven by the new PP and Vox Executive, which wants to shed light on this dizzying growth.
The complaints, transferred by civil servants, were picked up by the Aragonese PP, led by the now regional president, Jorge Azcón. The audit of the awarding of renewable energies was a promise of the PP from the first moment: if they reached the Government, they would open a commission of inquiry. Azcón himself did not hesitate during the election campaign to raise the pressure on the expansion of renewables due to "the multiple irregularities" pointed out about the procedures of mega-parks to Forestalia. After the agreement with Vox, this initiative was included in the program of both formations.
The commission of inquiry announced in the Cortes seeks to clarify these alleged irregularities, allegedly undertaken during the governments of Javier Lambán, between 2015 and 2023. At the center of the whistleblowers' criticism is Forestalia, the Aragonese company of Fernando Samper, which actively participated in the energy boom in Aragon. This commission must draw conclusions within a maximum period of six months and, if anomalies in the procedures are confirmed, a legal report will be sent to the Public Prosecutor's Office by the regional Executive.
The crux of the whole controversy lies in the division of the wind and solar projects into smaller plots, presumably in order to bypass the control of the central government and not have to be supervised and approved by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. In this way, everything was decided within Lambán's Executive and, ultimately, by the general director of the Aragonese Institute of Environmental Management (Inaga), the historical socialist Jesús Lobera.
Shadows and doubts
The new Executive of the PP and Vox wants to clarify the connection between two consulting firms, Satel and Calidad y Estudios, which worked closely with Forestalia and in turn with the regional Administration. These companies may be involved in an alleged conflict of interest as they were subcontracted by Samper's company at the same time they worked for the Government of Aragon.
These consulting firms were in charge of the environmental evaluations of renewable energy by the Executive and, at the same time, they elaborated the studies for Forestalia to obtain these approvals from the Administration. From the Socialist Javier Lambán's team, they argued from the beginning of the controversy that the contracting of these companies was made due to the extraordinary volume of requests for project processing files .
The parliamentary spokesmen of the PP and Vox, Fernando Ledesma and Santiago Morón, defend the need for this commission of inquiry to "defend the renewable sector", since it must be done with "order and transparency". The Aragonese Executive has quarantined all the actions of Lambán's government, citing that some renewable energy parks under suspicion "have carried away agricultural soils and have caused real ecological disasters" in lands of the Natura 2000 Network and "in irrigated lands in which a lot of public money has been invested".
PSOE sources, meanwhile, described the commission of inquiry as a "crude spectacle" and urged the Azcón government to go to the Public Prosecutor's Office if it has any real evidence that there is any kind of irregularity. One of the most critical voices for years for the alleged irregularities in the expansion of renewables in the territory has been Teruel Existe. The formation, in fact, has already sent material and reports on several occasions to the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The expansion of renewables in Aragon, the region where the sector has grown the most in all of Spain, is in question due to several complaints about alleged irregularities in the awarding of parks. The figures speak for themselves: the territory leads the installation of these infrastructures with 13% of the country's energy generation, with 44% exported. Now, in addition, all the spotlights point to the procedures initiated during the government of Socialist Javier Lambán after the opening of a parliamentary investigation commission, driven by the new PP and Vox Executive, which wants to shed light on this dizzying growth.