Spanish Renewable Energy Investments Slow with US Regulatory Changes

From Triple Pundit

By Jan Lee

Renewable energy investments in the U.S. had a bumper year in 2012, and Spanish wind investors, like Iberdrola Renewables, have plenty to show for it.

According to Iberdrola Renewables’ Communications Manager Paul Copleman, in 2012 the company wrapped up completion of several wind installations in a half-dozen states. Its successful construction of wind farms in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and California lent support to the American Wind Energy Associations recent claim that the number of wind energy investments trumped those of gas in 2012.

“It was a good year for us and a good year for the industry as a whole in terms of the number of installations,” Copleman said during an interview last week.

Iberdrola Renewables is one of several Spanish renewable energy companies that have invested in the U.S. market, trading in part, on its demonstrated success as wind and solar  energy leaders in the Spain and other parts of the European Union. Iberdrola Renewables is a subsidiary of Iberdrola S.A.

Copleman pointed out that much of the success of wind energy companies last year was due to a shift (see page 5 of gov’t. report) in the way that tax credits could be accessed by investors. The federal Production Tax Credit, which had been touted as a support for operating wind farms, lost its appeal during the 2008 recession. It worked great for small wind farms that were already in production, but did little for investors like IR, which were not yet at production stage and were stymied by the economic conditions created in 2008.

“The primary federal incentive to the wind industry was gone,” Copleman said.

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