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Wind energy developers call for turbine price cuts

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MADRID, Madrid June 8 (Reuters) – Spanish wind energy developers, faced with a possible reduction in subsidies which would spark a sector-wide cost-cutting battle, called on turbine makers to cut their prices

“The price (of turbines) could clearly come down. In time of

excess demand, the price of the machine itself has gone up 20

percent,” director for Spanish power company Endesa’s renewable

energy division Fernando Ferrando said on Monday.

“I think the trend will be for cheaper machines,” he said.

Acciona Energia and Iberdrola Renovables also called fow

lower turbine prices at the 2009 Wind Energy Conference.

While finance for projects in the sector remains tight due

to the credit crisis, companies await a new government

regulatory framework that will set down guidelines on the rate

of installation of wind farms and probably cut subsidies.

The credit crisis has fuelled a sharp decline in the number

of financial institutions prepared to participate in project

finance to fund wind energy deals.

“There are only about 7 or 8 institutions left. The local

savings banks and the international banks have pulled out. There

are less of us amongst whom to spread the load and risks are

building up on our balance sheets,” said Jesus Losa, director

for energy, oil and gas at La Caixa, Spain’s largest savings

bank.

Prices, margins and the financial costs of wind energy

projects have all increased because of this, he said.

(Writing by Judy MacInnes; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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