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The Idiocene Continues! Spain confirms nuclear power phase-out, extends renewable projects deadlines

MADRID, Dec 27 (Reuters) – Spain on Wednesday confirmed plans to close the country’s nuclear plants by 2035 as it presented energy measures including extended deadlines for renewable projects and adjusted renewable auctions.

The management of radioactive waste and dismantling of the plants, whose shut down will begin in 2027, will cost about 20.2 billion euros ($22.4 billion) and will be paid for by a fund supported by the plants’ operators, the government said.

The future of the country’s nuclear plants, which generate about a fifth of Spain’s electricity, was a hot issue during the recent electoral campaign, with the conservative opposition People’s Party (PP) pledging to reverse the planned phase-out. More recently, one of the main business lobbies called for extending the use of these plants.

Among other measures were changes to the rules governing development of new green energy projects and renewables auctions.

The government agreed to extend key administrative deadlines for new projects. The deadline to obtain a building permit, for example, was increased by six months to 49 months.

Renewable auctions may now include qualitative criteria to take into account social and environmental standards to “recognise the added value of European products,” the Energy Ministry said in a statement.