In less than a week, more than 180,000 Spanish citizens have signed a petition against plans for a new ‘sun tax’ on use of batteries for residential self-consumption of solar energy in Spain.
Meanwhile more than 150,000 citizens signed a petition calling for the immediate resignation of José Manuel Soria, the minister of industry, energy and tourism, whose department put forward the draft law.
The new tax could increase payback time for solar-plus-storage owners from around 16 years to 31 years. Hefty fines for infringement, capped at €60 million (US$67.7 million), had also been proposed, which is double the fine for releasing nuclear waste.
The tax applies to grid-connected solar PV installations of up to 15kW. Depending on the size of the installation, the fee would be from €8.9 (US$10) per kilowatt for domestic consumers up to €36 (US$40.6) per kW for medium size businesses.
José Donoso general director of the Spanish PV association, Union Espanola Foltovoltaico (UNEF), told PV Tech that more than 35,000 comments against the minister were presented. He said the government internet server crashed several times under the number of signatures and comments. He also said the petition had "record" numbers in such a short time.
Waiting for the ministry to make a decision, Donoso said: “We will see if the rules will change, or only cosmetic change, or nothing.”
A statement on Avaaz, the online platform for the petition, said: “The Ministry of Industry is working around the clock to protect the powerful electric oligopoly imposing new barriers to economically asphyxiate those citizens who wish to produce their own electricity using solar energy. Let us unite to prevent this shameful [sun tax]”.