Last week, the Spanish government approved the Royal Decree Law 23/2020, which promotes the wind energy sector to reach the goal of the national energy and climate plan, in addition to supporting the economic recovery of the country as a whole. Spain is the Nordex Group’s second home base and, in view of the country’s latest developments, we are continuing our “The Nordex Group around the world” series here.
In April 2016, Acciona Windpower, the wind turbine manufacturer of the Spanish group Acciona S.A. merged with the German company Nordex to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wind turbines. Acciona S.A. is now the main shareholder of the Nordex Group, with a 36.41 per cent stake. The company has been present in the Spanish market since the late nineties, with various sites spread across a number of provinces to date, and has built four of its own production facilities. Two nacelle production facilities in Barásoain, Navarre, and La Vall d’Uixó, Valencia, together with a rotor blade production facility in Lumbier, Navarre, allow the Nordex Group to supply projects to the market cost-efficiently. Just a few days ago, the company announced that in August, 2020 it will complete the construction of a new concrete tower production facility in Motilla del Palancar, Castilla-La Mancha. This new factory is based on the Group’s tried-and-tested mobile concept: this type of factory is always built close to the relevant wind farm construction sites, and after completion of projects within its vicinity, the components and tools can be taken down to be transported and reused on other projects, thus reducing logistical costs. With each concrete tower factory, the Nordex Group creates an average of 250 direct local jobs.
Today, the Nordex Group has some 1,600 employees in the country and has already installed over 2 GW of onshore capacity, with a further 340 MW under construction.
In 2019, wind energy was the second largest energy source in Spain, with an installed capacity of over 25 GW. This puts the country in fifth place in the world in terms of installed wind energy capacity, and second in Europe (source: AEEolica). Natural conditions, with many mountain ranges and extensive coastlines, offer very high potential for onshore wind energy. With predominantly medium wind locations and low to medium turbulence, the N155/5.X, N149/5.X and N163/5.X turbines of the Delta4000 platform are the most competitive on the market. Thanks to the flexibility of these systems, with power modes ranging from 4 to 5+ MW, custom, project-specific solutions can be found for any project. The company also offers the market an attractive range of operational and maintenance services, which can be provided across the country by specially trained Nordex Group staff. Depending on client requirements, services can be adapted and tailored to individual needs.
THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS SHOW AN OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK
Spain’s wind industry has gone through a turbulent period in recent years. After an earlier boom in wind energy, the industry was affected by a moratorium from 2012 to 2016. Since then, the country has progressed from the 2016-2017 auction market to a market also regulated by a pool price. As a result, long-term power purchase agreements (so called PPA’s) have become more attractive. A PPA defines all commercial conditions for the sale of electricity at a certain, defined price between two parties, usually between a power producer and a power consumer. However, the development of renewable energies has slowed down, also as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandememic, which has resulted in a drop in the market price. This creates difficulties in closing both PPA’s and finance for so-called merchant projects, i.e. projects subject to the pool price.
But developments in Spain show that the achievement of national and EU climate targets is being pushed forward, and that the role of wind energy will play a major part in this. The country’s national energy and climate plan aims to obtain around 85 to 95 per cent of its electricity from renewable energies by 2040, and 100 per cent by 2050. This means 60 GW of renewable energy will be constructed by 2030, which includes 2 GW of onshore wind energy per year between 2021 and 2030. Spain’s Council of Ministers coordinated this plan with the European Union in April this year in the middle of the peak stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that the country is dedicated to making a positive contribution to climate change even in times of crisis.
As mentioned earlier, and as part of the measures to promote economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to continue the promotion of renewable energies, last week, on 23 June, 2020, the Spanish government approved the Royal Decree Law 23/2020, which represents a very important step in the process of boost to the sector. One of the topics it contains is the reorganisation of renewable energy auctions in the country based on a pay-as-bid system. Furthermore, the law includes new regulations of access and connection to the grid, a simplification and streamlining of procedures, as well as new business models linked to renewable energies. The first auction is already expected to take place in the second half of this year, however, a Royal Decree still must be approved before this can go ahead.
These recent developments at a national and EU level have again made the region a very promising market, and general conditions for further growth of the onshore market in Spain are very favourable. With many years’ experience, a large local presence, and an attractive product portfolio, the Nordex Group is ideally positioned to meet growing demand and ensure that the aforementioned targets are achieved.
LOCAL CONTACTS OF THE NORDEX GROUP
Víctor M. Equísoain
CEO, Division International
Víctor M. Equísoain began his career at Acciona Energía in 2002 and moved to Acciona Windpower in 2007, where he held various international management positions. After the merger in 2016, he headed the Mediterranean, African and Latin American regions until 2017, when he was appointed Senior Vice President, Business Development, Division International. Since January, 2020, Víctor M. Equísoain has led the International Division as CEO.
Enrique López Ponce
Vice President Business Development,
Enrique López Ponce joined Acciona Windpower in 2011, where he worked in Business Development. In 2016, he became part of the Sales team and took over as Head of Sales for Africa, Australia, India, Spain and New Markets. In January, 2020, he was appointed Vice President, Business Development, Division International.
THE NORDEX GROUP
The Nordex Group
The Group has installed more than 28 GW of wind energy capacity in over 40 markets and generated sales of around EUR 3.3 billion in 2019. The company has around 7,500 employees. The joint manufacturing capacity includes factories in Germany, Spain, Brazil, the United States, India, Argentina and Mexico. The product portfolio is focused on onshore turbines in the 2.4 to 5.X MW class, which are designed to meet the market requirements of countries with limited available space and regions with limited grid capacity.