Spanish government “discriminates” against renewables

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey has come to blows with a group of 11 international infrastructure funds, including those managed by HSBC and Deutsche Bank. The prime minister has pledged to Parliament to tax utilities in an attempt to raise sorely needed cash from renewable energy to curb €25 billion of debt. The financial institutions are threatening cutting investment and taking legal action if reforms are tougher on renewables than traditional energy sources, throwing further companies into bankruptcy.

Bloomberg reports the companies said, “A tax would only be acceptable if it’s the same for all technologies, based on megawatt hours and not revenue.”

“The new taxes that are being considered are astronomical,” Miguel Salis, chief executive officer of Eolia Renovables SA, a Madrid-based wind and solar farm developer. “They represent 9% to 20% of gross revenue for these plants, which would create several problems, including many solar plant defaults.” As recently as May, Spanish grid operator Red Eléctrica de España revealed that energy generated from the country’s solar PV capacity accounted for 4.5% of Spain’s total electricity demand during that month.

Bloomberg estimates that PV and solar-thermal power plants could earn a tariff as much as five times higher than other renewables.

Concerns were raised by Exane BNP Paribas analysts, in a research note last month that the government could increase the current €0.50 per megawatt-hour tax on traditional generators to €5 and expand it to include renewable energy.

Such an “increase in the tax cannot be legally challenged as this tax already exists, it is an indirect tax and is non- discriminatory by technology,” Exane BNP Paribas said.

There are claims that the tariff deficit has been growing by about €3 billion each year which is being accredited to €7 billion paid in clean-energy subsidies.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Sweatman, head of Madrid-based consultancy Climate Strategy S.L. said, “Spain has an accumulated energy debt and a current energy-tariff deficit. The solutions to this unsustainable problem are a mix of increased energy prices, lower generation/connection costs and potentially fiscal measures.”

“This tax, which is what we heard initially, would be logical,” said Jorge Barredo, chairman of Unef, a PV lobby group. “A tax that is different for every technology seems illegal and discriminatory against renewables.”

As a result, shares in most Spanish companies with large clean energy interests fell today. Solaria Energia y Medio Ambiente SA was down 4.9%, Iberdrola SA (IBE) fell 3.5% and Abengoa SA (ABG) dropped 1.4% in Madrid. An announcement is expected tomorrow at the earliest.

On April 22, Spaniards marched from Santo Domingo Opera Dos de Mayo in protest of the moratorium imposed earlier this year. However the disgruntled solar industry’s demands fell on deaf ears.

Debt-laden Spain, with almost 4,300MW of PV capacity, is expected to issue an energy strategy before summer recess on July 27. Industry minister Jose Manuel Soria stated the proposal would cover nuclear and renewable power as well as the tariff-deficit.


22 September 2021
To commemorate the World Energy Storage Day(WESD) on 22 September, being recognized worldwide, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising the 5th global conference and virtual expo, which will be held virtually on 22 September 2021. WESD is a global movement initiated by various apex trade bodies working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility & green hydrogen technologies for a sustainable future. The forthcoming edition of WESD is expected to attract global participation with an intent to facilitate bi-lateral trade, market development and new research and innovation, which will invite 100+ countries, 100+ regulators & policy makers, 100+ International speakers,1000+ organisations, 100+ partners & exhibitors and 20,000+ global delegates.
28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.

Read Next

September 22, 2021
More than 190 US solar companies have warned that proposed duties on imports of modules and cells from three Southeast Asian countries represent an “immediate and serious threat” to America’s solar sector.
September 22, 2021
Access to off-grid electricity should be seen as a key mechanism to drive rural development and improve economic wellbeing and living standards in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), according to a new report by University College London’s (UCL) Engineering for International Development Centre and off-grid, pay-as-you go solar company BBOXX.
September 22, 2021
A project combining 300MWac of solar with a 150MWac/600MWh battery energy storage facility in New Mexico has advanced after DE Shaw agreed to acquire it.
September 22, 2021
Generac Power Systems has bolstered its presence in the microinverter segment with the launch of a new product line that it says allows homeowners to take advantage of the full potential output of solar arrays.
September 22, 2021
Oil and gas major Shell has launched the Shell Energy brand in Brazil and has committed to investing R$3 billion (US$570 million) in renewables in the country by the end of 2025
September 22, 2021
China has appealed a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that rejected the country’s challenges to the US' safeguard tariffs on certain crystalline silicon PV cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021