The Platform for a New Energy Model meets Commissioner Oettinger

Yesterday the Platform for a New Energy Model (Plataforma por un Nuevo Modelo Energetico), met in Strasbourg with Gunther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, and gave him the more than 180,000 signatures collected in December in a campaign advocating for a cost audit of the Spanish electricity sector. Holtrop SLP joined this delegation lawyers and volunteers for the Platform.

The Platform for a New Energy Model considers essential a cost audit of the Spanish electricity sector in order to determine the source of the tariff deficit and finally open the door to a comprehensive reform. Thus it launched the initiative "Pull the blanket of the electric sector" in combination with its first visit to Brussels. It was an immediate success, with thousands of signatures collected in a few hours.

Because of the total lack of transparency in the sector in Spain it is impossible to define which part of the fixed costs is paid by each consumer group and consequently it any kind investigation like the one that will possibly start in Germany regarding industries that allegedly was exempted from paying their part of feed-in tariffs would be impossible in Spain.

During the meeting the members of the Platform discussed with Oettinger about the difficult situation of over 53.000 renewable energy installations in Spain, owned by people who trusted in a legislation apparently supported and pushed by EU law and policy, that are now facing the possibility of bankruptcy.

We handed the Commissioner a short letter where we ask for action to defend the rights of up to 200.000 people which have been affected by a combination of Laws, Royal Decrees and Royal Decree-Laws, namely RD1565/2010, RDL14/2010, RDL1/2012, Law 15/2012 and RDL2/2013, which dramatically diminished the profitability of their investments in a retroactive fashion at the extent that many of them have now a negative return.

At the same time we explained him that affected people tried every possible remedy: we appealed before the Spanish Audiencia Nacional, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and now even before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

We pointed out that almost three years after the first cutbacks Spanish courts continue to ignore EU law, and even deny the option of a preliminary ruling before the TJEU, while they apparently prefer to create their own doctrine.

Considering all that the Platform asked directly the European Commission, relying in its role as warden of the treaties, and thus we filed a series of complaints concerning the infringements of Directive 2009/28/CE and 2009/72/CE as well as of articles 107 and 108 TFEU and the breach of article 267 of the TFEU. These complaints have been sent to the legal service of the European Commission.

Even though Spain seems to be in line to comply with the goals of 2020, indeed it is only riding the momentum. The sectors of renewable energies and energy efficiency are facing a dramatic situation, threatened by oversized gas plants with dire consequences for employment in two of the few sectors that can help to alleviate the first national problem.

We thank a lot the Commissioner Oettinger for having accepted to meet us and we hope that, the European Commission will finally take a position and choose to force Spain to comply with EU law and finally change the inadequate energy policy it has been pushing during the last few years.

During the conclusions of the meeting were agreed dates and specific follow-up actions of the issues discussed with the Commission.

To read the letter we delivered to Commissioner Oettinger click here.