Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has unveiled his latest plans to stimulate the nation’s floundering economy, including a specific pledge to boost Spain’s infrastructure.
Speaking yesterday (May 12) in the country’s State of the Nation debate, Zapatero proposed mobilising more than €20 billion, comprising both public and private funding, towards renewable energy and infrastructure projects over the next two years. Another €5 billion will be allocated to local investment funds to develop regional environmental and technical independence.
Spain already has a well-established private sector infrastructure investment model. Several large engineering and construction firms with significant balance sheets, such as ACS and Ferrovial, originate, build, operate and take equity stakes in national infrastructure projects.
In the renewables space, Spain has been one of the biggest recipients of solar energy investment since introducing feed-in tariffs, which expired last year. In March UK private equity firm HgCapital invested €300m in three Spanish solar energy plants, its first deal in the country.
Spain has been impacted particularly hard by the recession, partly due to its heavy reliance on the house building industry. Zapatero’s socialist party is expected to lose ground to opposition parties in next month’s European elections.