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Spain wants to retake lead in renewable energy - 18th December

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The former 2007-2008 renewable energy global champion, Spain wants to make up the ground it lost during the economic crisis when it reversed its policy slashing subsidies and decimating the sector.

The sharp economic downturn that followed the collapse of a decade-long property bubble in 2008 put the brakes on the development of renewable energy as the government scaled back support.

"2015 marks the lowest point in the development of renewables in the past 20 years in Spain," said Spanish Wind Energy Association policy director Heikki Willstedt.

"Spain must make up for lost time and fulfil its goals for 2020," she added.

Willstedt recalled that Spain is committed to meeting 20% of its energy needs through renewables by 2020, compared to the current 15%.

Spain's ruling conservative Popular Party has presented proposals to restart the wind power sector but has not yet outlined its plans for solar energy.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris on November 30 to table a "law on climate change" if he is re-elected, after having complained for a long time that renewable energy is too expensive.

Spain has maintained companies "with significant know how" in the area such as Gamesa which survived the economic downturn by expanding abroad, mainly in Latin America.

The country is still the fifth largest producer in the world of wind power and the third biggest exporter.

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