* Spain offers 60 euro/MWh min returns for new wind farms
* Guarantees min return for 20 yrs vs 12 yrs previously
* Wind industry: subsidies not enough
MADRID, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Spain’s wind power industry is pushing the government to further improve a proposal for subsidies after 2012 that the ruling Socialists have said is their ‘final’ offer, a spokeswoman for the sector’s lobby AEE said on Thursday.
In a last ditch attempt to break a deadlock between the wind power sector and Spain’s Socialist government over subsidies, the government has improved its original proposals for minimum returns for the industry, but wind energy generators say it is still not enough.
“We want to make a final effort to save thousands of jobs in the sector,” the spokeswoman said, noting that the government’s offer gives returns to developers below the 8.5 percent minimum demanded by investors in wind farms.
The government has said it will raise its offer for minimum returns on wind farms which come on stream after 2012 to 60 euros per megawatt hour from 55 euros previously and guarantee this for 20 years, instead of 12 years, a source from the Industry Ministry told Reuters.
“This is the Government’s final offer. If the sector doesn’t accept it we will abandon attempts to legislate on this, which means waiting for mid-2012 and a new government to pass a new text,” the source said.
Spain will go to the polls on Nov. 20 in general elections where the centre-right opposition Peoples Party is tipped to unseat the ruling Socialists and reform an energy sector by cutting aid to renewable energy.
Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian has said the government will not legislate on new wind power subsidies without consensus from the sector. (Reporting By Jonathan Gleave and Andres Gonzalez; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)