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Support for Spanish gas plants is 'urgent', industry body says

MADRID (Reuters) - Supporting Spanish gas-fired plants with capacity mechanisms is "urgent and necessary", Joan Batalla, president of industry body Sedigas, said on Thursday.

With intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar playing a growing role in the country's energy mix, Batalla stressed that such plants, known as combined-cycle power plants, act as an important backstop.

"We hope that the regulation enabling the deployment of capacity mechanisms can materialise quickly," he told reporters, referring to a mechanism that provides payments in return for plants being made available to produce electricity when necessary.

While in the past such plants were in constant operation, the massive roll-out of renewables means that they are in now in startup and shutdown modes, which increases the costs, he said.

(Reporting by Pietro Lombardi; editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum)