In the past decade, Spain’s generous incentive system for renewable energy production attracted substantial foreign and national investment. However, when the global financial crisis hit, and the consequent reduction of electricity consumption, the incentives began to cause a tariff deficit in the electricity system, leading the Spanish government to cut back and then eliminate the incentives. In the wake of losses, international investors turned to investment arbitration, while national investors could only present their claims before Spanish courts. The result was a potential for differential treatment between national and foreign investors. This paper examines the incentive regime and the government’s changes to it in order to understand the investors’ claims and the reasoning that resulted in their rejections, both in national courts and in the only arbitration award issued up to now. The paper concludes with a discussion of the effect of the renewable energies situation on the investment arbitration debate within Spanish civil society.
Spain and Investment Arbitration: The Renewable Energy Explosion
Investor-State Arbitration Series, Paper No. 17