The Spanish government has decided to cap the amount of thermosolar and photovoltaic plants allowed in the country to reduce the price load on ratepayers and taxpayers. Before August, a Royal Decree will go to Spain’s energy regulators to enforce this measure as the head of renewables for Spain’s Industry Ministry Santiago Caravantes reported.
The Spanish government promotes clean fuels by letting generators charge as much as 10 times more for renewable energy. This price hike, in combination with guaranteed returns for 25 years, attracted €20 billion of investment to solar power. The Spanish government did not predict the amount of attention PV modules received, and as a result of this unchecked growth, new legislation in the form of quarterly quotas has been passed, in addition to a reduction in preferential tariffs.
Initially, the ministry had too many requests to review and register and as a result the photovoltaic industry’s activities halted for almost five months. Determined not to make the same mistake again, the energy committee is working “as quickly as possible” on the registration process for thermosolar plants—about 100 applications totalling 4,300MW of capacity as of 19 June 2009. The government’s current thermosolar energy goal of 500MW has already been met threefold and once it reaches its 2010 benchmark another new law will be drafted.