Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Spain. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Spain. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Σάββατο, 5 Αυγούστου 2017

Spanish opposition party gains against governing conservatives, new poll says

Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy
Spain's principal opposition party, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, has recuperated its public support since re-appointing its leader although the governing conservative Popular Party would win an election if held today, according to a new poll published Friday by state pollsters.

Σάββατο, 13 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Boat protest against Canaries oil prospecting

LANZAROTE, Spain: Protesters plunged half-naked into the icy sea and unfurled banners on Saturday (Dec 13) to try to stop oil prospecting near Spain's Canary Islands, a major tourist destination.

Ten boats from the archipelago took protesters eight nautical miles from where Spanish firm Repsol is exploring with a view to possibly drilling off the islands in the Atlantic ocean.
Protesters warn the oil and gas project is a threat to the environment and the tourist industry on which the Canary Islands rely. They say drilling would raise the risk of an oil spill like the Deepwater Horizon disaster that struck at a BP oil prospect in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The government says finding oil could create thousands of jobs and reduce Spain's dependency on energy imports. The country currently imports 80 per cent of its energy. The beaches on the archipelago off northwest Africa are a popular draw for tourists from Britain, France and elsewhere.

Opponents of Repsol's operations are furious at the Spanish government for authorising Repsol to probe below the sea bed 50 kilometres from the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.

Environmentalists have branded it a threat to dolphins and other local fauna and flora. "I have been a boat owner for 10 years and what they are doing here pains me. I am sick of seeing the sea polluted and destroyed," said Samuel Rocio Garcia, 32, a protester who dived into the water.

On board one of the boats was the leader of the local government from the island of Lanzarote, Pedro San Gines Gutierrez. He said the protest was "a symbolic act of vigilance" to try to monitor the activities of the Rowan Renaissance, the ship Repsol is using to probe below the sea bed.

Spanish authorities last month temporarily impounded a boat of the environmental campaign group Greenpeace after it protested at the Repsol project in the same area. Spain said the crew had defied orders to leave a restricted zone.

On Nov 15, three Spanish navy boats rammed vessels in which Greenpeace activists were approaching the Rowan Renaissance, a video distributed by Greenpeace showed. An Italian protester fell in the water and was injured, Greenpeace said. It said its activists were protesting peacefully.

Δευτέρα, 6 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Spanish minister in Panama to end US$1.6b canal row

PANAMA CITY: A Spanish cabinet minister launched mediation efforts in Panama on Monday to resolve a US$1.6 billion dispute threatening to halt the expansion of the Central American nation's vital canal.
Public Works Minister Ana Pastor held separate meetings with Panama's president and executives of the Spanish-led consortium that has threatened to stop the project this month unless local authorities pay for the massive cost overruns.
After the two meetings, Pastor said the Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) consortium wanted to negotiate a way out of the impasse.
"The commitment of GUPC is to resolve everything within the contract and for that reason they will sit down for dialogue," she said.
"We are trying to reach an agreement that will be good for everybody," Pastor said after talks with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli.

Martinelli said the consortium and the Panama Canal Authority need to find a solution, even if it means going through international arbitration.
"Surely solutions will be found within the meeting. This is a project of global scope for Spain, Panama and the maritime community," he said.
Pastor met first with 16 GUPC executives, including the head of Spanish builder Sacyr, Manuel Manriquez. She will meet later with canal authority officials.
"The Spanish government will not support Sacyr with money. This is an issue between a company" and Panamanian authorities, Spain's ambassador Jesus Silva told reporters.
The construction group, which includes Impreglio of Italy, Belgium's Jan de Nul of Belgium and Constructora Urbana of Panama, warned on December 30 that it would suspend work in 21 days if authorities failed to pay for extra "unforeseen" charges.
  • The expansion project aims to make the 80-kilometre (50-mile) waterway, which handles five per cent of global maritime trade, big enough to handle new, giant cargo ships that can carry 12,000 containers.
  • Currently the canal can handle ships large enough to carry 5,000 containers.
The United States built the canal between 1904 and 1914 and had full control of the waterway until handing it over to Panama in late 1999.
The consortium began work on a third set of larger canal locks in 2009 and expects to complete construction in June 2015, already nine months over the contractual date. Work is about 70 per cent complete.
The overall cost of the project has been estimated at US$5.2 billion.
A year ago, GUPC demanded that the Panama Canal Authority pay the extra US$1.6 billion for the extra costs.
Sacyr says the extra charges are related to technical and geological matters, cement ingredients, weather conditions as well as tax, labour and financial issues.
Jose Pelaez, in charge of building the third set of locks, said Saturday that the rising price tag was partly due to problems in the regional geology that the Canal Authority had not detected.
On Sunday, the Panama Canal Authority said that the contractor's claims "have no legal standing and are not clear," and are not reason enough to halt the project.
"We're being cornered," canal administrator Jorge Quijano said, adding that Panama cannot become "hostage to a contractor."
Canal officials say there was already a four-month delay shortly after the project began caused by the reversal of a GUPC plan to use lower-quality cement.
Moreover, the consortium had "14 months before submitting their bid to closely study the components of the project" in order to submit a "solid" bid.

Τρίτη, 23 Ιουλίου 2013

Spain’s solar industry to collapse as govt introduces draconian profit caps

One of the main producers of renewable energy in Europe, Spain’s solar industry, is edging toward bankruptcy. Producers say they’ll be unable to repay credits after the government’s decision to cut subsidies. Banks will suffer and jobs will be lost.
Energy Minister José Manuel Soria has introduced a new compensation plan for calculating levels of "reasonable profitability" for renewable-energy production, distribution and transportation. It will reduce payments to companies serving the nation's electrical system by up to 2.7 billion euro annually. It’s hoped the move could help cope with the electricity system deficit that has been growing since 2005 and now exceeds 25 billion euro.

To sap the annual deficit, which has been estimated by the government at 4.5 billion euro this year, Spain is set to raise consumers' electric bills by about 3.2 percent starting from August, contributing about 400 million euro in extra revenue for the system this year and 900 million euro next year, the Wall Street Journal reports.



Experts are warning that with the increased levies on self-consumed solar energy so high many households will have to pay more for the electricity they generate themselves than they would for regular grid power. 

The main trade association for Spain's electric utilities which distribute most the country's electricity said "the cuts will compel our member companies to undertake a drastic reduction in jobs and review their investments in Spain," Asociación Española de la Industria Eléctrica (Unesa) warned.

Spain has over 4GW of installed capacity. For several years the government reportedly pushed electricity retailers to pay above-market, unaffordable prices to renewable-power producers.


This handout picture released by Gemasolar shows the Torresol Energy Gemasolar thermasolar plant in Fuentes de Andalucia near Sevilla, southern Spain. (AFP Photo/Gemasolar)
This handout picture released by Gemasolar shows the Torresol Energy Gemasolar thermasolar plant in Fuentes de Andalucia near Sevilla, southern Spain. (AFP Photo/Gemasolar)

Big subsidies triggered a boom in solar-power installations that, according to the Wall Street Journal, far exceeded official government targets. Between 2006 and 2012, when renewable-energy output doubled, Spain boasted the fourth-largest such industry in the world, according to the Economist.

In 2012 clean energy subsidies in Spain hit 8.6 billion euro, nearly 1 percent of GDP. To fund the expansion, Spanish banks lent the solar-energy companies nearly 30 billion euro. Potential loan defaults could worsen the already heavy burden on Spanish banks. The government is said to be in talks with banks to forestall bankruptcies, with five of the biggest utilities saying the new reforms will jointly cost them 1 billion euro a year.

With the new plan brought into action, the government has capped profits for the solar energy sector at 7.5 percent before tax to 5.5 percent after tax. Spanish trade associations have been shocked by the decision saying the new rate is less than the rate that industry insiders are able to borrow at, leading many to “bankruptcy because they won't be able to repay the credit that financed them.”

According to the energy minister, "this reform is not wedded to any part of the electric sector."

"We did what we had to do," Soria said. 

http://rt.com/business
23/7/13

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