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Joe Biden Protests Before Zapatero for the Cutting of the Subsidies to Renewable Energies ^ | 27 May 2010 | Daniel Toledo / Carlos Hernanz

Posted on 05/29/2010 1:47:41 AM PDT by J Aguilar

Joe Biden Protests Before Zapatero for the Retroactivity of the Cut in the Subsidies to Renewable Energies.

The vice-president of the USA, Joe Biden, has called Moncloa [palace, the Prime Minister’s residence] to protest for the legal uncertainty generated in Spain by the Government in the sector of the renewable energies. The arrangement being prepared by the Industry [economic central planning] Ministry to apply the new regulatory frame in a retroactive way, has brought the complaints of investors and American companies, which have directed their preoccupation and uneasiness to their embassy for the plans that are being handled to severely cutting the subsidies. Only days after the first rough drafts were leaked, at the end of April, the White House activated its administrative machinery to defend the interests of its companies.

A spokesman from the American embassy in Madrid confirmed yesterday that the Government of Barack Obama has informed Moncloa about his concern by the lack of existing regulatory stability in different sectors of the Spanish economy. Also they recognize that they have contacted “in many occasions” different associations to express that unease to them. The own American ambassador, Alan D. Solomont, has made clear recently that, when accusing Spain to discriminate against American companies in public contracts, with the economic consequences that could have that “disloyal” behavior.

On May 7th, Joe Biden landed in Spain coming from Brussels. A lighting visit lasting 48 hours to dispatch with the king that same day (in the eve of his surgical procedure in Barcelona) and to have lunch with President Zapatero on Saturday. The meeting, the most important by a leader of the USA since 2001, served to review the bilateral agenda between both countries. And among the questions to be handled, in addition for the gratefulness by the Spanish commitment in Afghanistan, was the one of the renewable energies, the same reason that caused a call in April, after the plans the Industry Ministry had alarmed the entire sector.

From the USA embassy the context of what was talked is explained: “Our companies have complained to be harmed and discriminated in Spain, mainly in some sectors in which licenses or permissions are needed or are dependent on regulation. Our fear is that this complaint can arrive to the Government or the American Congress and make worse the situation of the Spanish companies in the United States. Until now, the entrance in our market in sectors as the one of the renewable energies has been quite easy”. In any case, the embassy wanted to make clear those are normal contacts between both countries and that “it is not an element of great conflict”.

The own embassy would have maintained meetings with the associations of the sector, after American companies like SolarReserve, with interests in Spain, activated the alarms. According to what explain sources in the sector, the mentioned company has projects in our country for €600 million and paid out €50 million at least. “It is logical that supports are being lobbied, from the White House to the embassy to the Department of Energy. The embassy has always been very active in defence of the interests of its companies. It already moved before the previous regulatory changes for the renewable energies. There is preoccupation because the investments do not mature”, emphasize these sources.

In this context, the visit of Biden was not protocol. The vice-president of the USA paved the way for the most important call, than took place only three days later, Tuesday May 11th. Barack Obama took the telephone to call Zapatero. The American executive chief had not received a positive report by his number two about the existing situation in Spain, in addition to the received complaints by companies with interests in Spanish soil. For this reason, he did not doubt in insisting to his counterpart in Moncloa to take “resolute actions as part of the European effort to fortify the economy and the confidence of the markets".

Risk for the Spanish investments in the USA

That confidence demanded now was the one that greeted with enthusiasm the Spanish renewable energy companies with the arrival of Obama to the presidency of the United States. He brought under his Stimulus Plan to cover with clean energies 25% of the demand of electricity in the United States by 2025. And cash. €15 billion dollars for the next the ten years. Moreover, he had gotten tired of showing Spain as an example of leadership in renewable energies. In the first awarding of funding by the American Executive, Iberdrola got €207 million of the €353 million that were distributed to finance five windmill parks in Texas, Minnesota and Oregon

It is not an isolated case. Obama’s advisor Juan Verde pointed out in a conference last week in the National Commission of Energy (CNE) that the American Administration has granted to companies such as Abengoa Solar, Acciona, Iberdrola and Gamesa projects for more than €4 billion in the last 18 months. He insisted that the interchanges must be mutual and the relations as equal to equal. Expert sources of the bilateral relations between both countries explain to El Confidential that the regulatory fiasco in Spain makes difficult Obama’s actions in his renewable bet, always with the oil lobby watching.

With his resign in the last weeks, [Industry minister] Miguel Sebastian is risking a long task he himself drove. The own minister of Industry opened last October a forum in California with more than 200 Spanish and American companies, in which a contract to construct and manage a 250 MW solar farm in the Mojave desert was granted to Abengoa Solar. In May, he had participated in the Wind Power of Chicago along with 700 companies. “The renewable energies have had a positive impact on the Spanish economy. They have created more than 175,000 jobs in Spain and will create many more”, he said proudly. Those were other times, before accusing them in private of “opportunistic”.

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: economy; renewable; spain

1 posted on 05/29/2010 1:47:42 AM PDT by J Aguilar
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To: J Aguilar

Thanks for this and all your comments regarding the Spanish banks, the Euro and of course, 3/11.

I’m not surprised that the Obama administration wants Spain to continue spending money it does not have; afterall that is what Obama is doing.

Has there been news in Spain about the leaked government analysis regarding the numbers of jobs “lost” because of Spain’s investment in “Green energy”?

2 posted on 05/29/2010 4:07:04 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: J Aguilar

Good for Spain!

All subsidies for “renewable energy” should be eliminated everywhere!!

3 posted on 05/29/2010 4:11:28 AM PDT by dalereed
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To: Incorrigible
Sure. There was an interesting row between Gabriel Calzada, the main author of the private report on the jobs lost by Green Energy, and persons close to the Socialist administration, who threatened to accuse him of treason.

The Juan de Mariana Institute Calzada presides replied in an editorial recalling the date the Executive Order 436/2004, that established the regulatory framework to Green energy was approved: March 12th, 2004.

Unfortunately, that replied appeared only in the free media that publishes in Internet. Printed and TV media is completely controlled.

In that sense, this cold winter has been more damaging for them than Calzada's report.
4 posted on 05/29/2010 5:14:52 AM PDT by J Aguilar (Fiat Justitia et ruat coelum)
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To: J Aguilar

Spain is sinking like the Titania, and Biden wants the deck chairs painted green.

5 posted on 05/29/2010 6:59:52 AM PDT by Malesherbes (Sauve qui peut)
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To: J Aguilar

The only alternate in “alternate energy” is the money leaving your pocket to that of a fat cat with political connections. (Jefe politico syndrome)

6 posted on 05/29/2010 9:55:27 AM PDT by ASOC (Things are not always as they appear, ask the dog chasing the car)
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