By Fernando Badenes, King & Wood Mallesons’ Madrid Office

The last step of the reform of the electricity sector carried out by the Spanish Government has been the final straw. That step was the enactment of a Ministerial Order that has set the parameters of remuneration for different renewable energy technologies. This regulatory change supposes the retrenchment of the profitability that the Spanish state had promised and stimulated and which had been the reason for fresh private equity funds in the sector. This change of regime was initiated some years ago by the Spanish Government with the aim of reducing the tariff deficit of the system and has triggered foreign alarms to investors who had invested in the renewal energy sector relying on the Government’s promises on keeping premium fees throughout the lifetime of the plants. These investors have now initiated arbitration proceedings under the protection of the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) to claim from the Spanish State fees lost as a result of this change of regulation.
Continue Reading Energy Charter Treaty: The umbrella for international arbitration against Spanish energy renewal