20 October 2013

Spain's solar industry in crisis


"SPAIN APPROVES tax on solar panels. It's a complete 180 degree about turn for Spanish solar energy, and a complete 180 for those who encouraged by government subsidizes invested in it." reports Al Jazeera.

As reported in my post "Spain plans to tax the Sun" earlier this month, Spain has a serious financial problem. It has accumulated a massive debt of more than 26 billion euros to the energy companies, and a new support levy tax is the governments attempt to claw back some of that money.

The move has angered environmentalists and solar energy support groups. The Comisión Nacional de la Energía (CNE) has objected to the plans. BBC News reports "Spain's energy regulator has sided with the opponents of the toll. It has found the proposal discriminatory, concluding that it makes self-consumption economically unviable and sacrifices middle and long-term economic efficiency for short-term economic sustainability. However, the regulator's word is non-binding."

There are hopes that the European Commission will help, as its objective is to achieve 20% of energy production from renewable sources by 2020.

However, the Commission has a dilemma. They are anxious not to jeopardise the plans for Spain's economic recovery. The Commission may be willing to sacrifice the EU legal framework for policy objectives.

It seems almost certain a new Royal Decree will be passed in the Spanish Parliament to tax solar energy.