Repsol calls for offshore auction after elections
The Spanish energy company Repsol believes that the Portuguese government should proceed with offshore wind energy licence auctions after the elections on March 10, arguing that political stability and support from the new incoming government are both crucial for the country’s offshore ambitions.
“We’d prefer to see it as early as possible, but what would happen if it is launched and the (new) government doesn’t want it? It would be more sensible to wait”, José Partida Solano, Director of Repsol’s eolic offshore unit.
The Spanish oil company is one of 50 parties interested in an eolic offshore auction that have expressed an official interest. The government now intends to open a discussion phase with the parties in January. The Ministry of the Environment has already said that the caretaker government is evaluating if it will launch the auction before the elections on March 10, but has yet to take a decision.
When asked by Jornal Económico if Repsol would prefer the auction to be carried out in one or two phases, José Partida Solano said that the company would prefer the latter option.
“If they want an eolic offshore market to start now, the best option would be to undertake it in two phases, because it is possible to adjudicate it now for next year, for example, and so companies can begin to carry out their studies, begin to sort out their licence applications, and in three years time undertake a remuneration auction. I think it would be possible to get better prices if done now”, he argued.
Portugal kicked off the preparatory process for its first auction of licences to build wind farms off the Atlantic coast by inviting companies to present non-binding declarations of interest by November 14. Fifty companies from all over Europe have shown an interest.
The environment ministry said in a statement that month that any interested parties who formalise their interest would be invited to participate in a discussion phase to discuss options regarding pre-qualification and bidding models.
Says Reuters, “in the initial phase, companies must explain which maritime areas they are targeting, their experience in developing wind energy projects, whether on land or at sea, financing model, among other points”.
The government had set the capacity on offer in the auction to be launched by year-end at 2 GW in three areas off the country’s Atlantic coast. However, the fall of the PS government of António Costa and the calling of snap elections in March has now threatened to temporarily delay the auction until a new government has been formed.
The floating wind farms will be installed in deep waters where winds are stronger and more continuous, allowing the generation of more power than those fixed to the seabed near to shore or those on land.