Spain May Soften 2020 Renewable Energy Goal as Electricity Subsidies Grow

Spain may trim its goal of meeting 22.7 percent of national energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, a target submitted to the European Union in December, a government spokesman said.

The executive’s final goal will be “consistent” with a report by a parliamentary committee that foresees clean power reaching 20.8 percent of energy use, according to an Industry Ministry spokesman who asked not to be named in line with government policy. The country will maintain its commitment to power from the sun and wind and retain its policy of using subsidies to encourage investment, he added.

Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian is devising plans for Spain to stick to its pledges on low-carbon energy as voters struggle to pay their energy bills amid the worst economic slump in at least 60 years.

Subsidies for renewable energy and cogeneration plants, which turn excess industrial heat into energy, rose 8 percent to 7.1 billion euros last year, to comprise 39 percent of the country’s electricity bill. The regulator had forecast a decline of 10 percent.

The government will announce the main elements of the energy plans next week and the final version is set to be approved in July. Government policy will be flexible enough to adapt to the changing conditions in the energy markets and the national economy, the spokesman said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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