The Spanish government launched an investigation after it was revealed that a power provider emptied two reservoirs amid a heatwave and drought to take advantage of exceptionally high electricity rates.
The dams of Samora and Caceres in western Spain were drained by Iberdrola, the country’s second-largest producer.
In recent weeks, inexpensive hydroelectric power has been produced, but consumer prices have reached new highs.
The minister for ecological transition, Teresa Ribera, described Iberdrola’s actions as “scandalous.”
“This can’t be allowed to happen,” she said.
“Water is a scarce resource which is just as important for the well being of families and the economy as it is for generating electricity,” she added.
Ribera said that Iberdrola’s actions were “irresponsible,” but they weren’t illegal because the corporation was allowed to use a set amount of water per year anytime it wanted, regardless of the weather.
“It’s legitimate but not reasonable, which is why we want to intervene as soon as possible,” she said.
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