Spain takes big stick to solar + storage with proposed ‘tax on the sun’

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Spanish govt proposes self-consumption fee for solar households that add battery storage that would double the system’s pay-back time. Law would also include an infringement penalty double that for leaking nuclear waste.

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How do you prevent the masses from going off-grid using increasingly cost competitive solar plus storage technology? In Spain, the government appears to be going for the stick approach, putting forward draft legislation last week that proposes a hefty fee for the use of batteries for residential solar self-consumption – and even more hefty fines for households that don’t comply.

The new charge would apply to grid-connected solar PV installations of up to 15kW, and would vary in cost depending on the size of the installation: from €8.9 (US$10) per kW for domestic consumers up to €36 (US$40.6) per kW for medium size businesses. Only off-grid PV systems would be exempt.

1-Spain-Solar-Tax2

According to reports, the fee – which is being labelled “a tax on the sun” – could increase the payback time for a solar + storage system from around 16 years to 31 years. For SME’s, it would increase payback time from four to seven years.

Additional fines for infringement of the self-generation legislation, capped at €60 million (US$67.7 million), have also been proposed – an amount, as PV Tech has pointed out, that is double the fine for leaking radioactive nuclear waste (see PV Tech graph below).

Fines_for_very_serious_infractions

As EuroWeekly notes, the “enormous U-turn” in Spain’s political attitude to solar in the last five years is in stark contrast to other European countries, like Germany, which is encouraging the use of solar panels with batteries.

The Spanish PV association, Union Espanola Foltovoltaico (UNEF), told PV Tech that this would be the only self-consumption law in the world created only to prohibit the development of self-consumption.

And to make it even more confusing, the new draft law also makes it clear that any excess energy solar households feed back into the grid will not result in any monetary benefits, with the exception of heavy consuming businesses, who will be allowed to turn a profit on their surplus generation.

It also puts a cap on installations at 100kW and the owner and consumer must be the same person, reports PV Tech.

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8 Comments
  1. Ron Horgan 4 years ago

    What odds that Australia follows this lead ?
    A nice fact finding mission, send the “expert” committee members , take copious photocopies and hey presto new laws to stamp out solar energy.

  2. Rob G 4 years ago

    It’s the kind of thing I’d only expect from an Abbott government. I wonder what would happen if the entire solar population refused to pay? Try locking up half a country.

    • Mike Dill 4 years ago

      From the article: “Off-grid PV systems would be exempt.”
      And there would be no value for any energy returned to the grid.
      If it happens here it will be just another reason to go off-grid.

      • Rob G 4 years ago

        Absolutely, now if Elon Musk can get those batteries out a bit quicker we ‘d see an even quicker defection. Abbott may not be in power by the time they hit our market, but if he is, he will do his utmost to make it difficult for Australians to defect.

  3. Jacob 4 years ago

    Insanity.

    Hope it does not become law.

  4. Robert Home 4 years ago

    Our County wanted to tax its property owners on RAIN! Seriously. We need to get these folks together with the folks in Spain and perform a lobotomy on them. At least do not let them infect others with this disease. If it is a disease. They dropped the rain tax issue for now. How does one understand this kind of logic. Their elements of reasoning has to be skewed therefore everything based upon this reasoning is in error. The reciprocal of this is true as well.

  5. Barri Mundee 4 years ago

    I wonder at the legality of such measures, penalising citzens who should be free to reduce their use of the grid or even disconnect altogether.

  6. Math Geurts 4 years ago

    Be aware: less than 10% of Spain’s PV is residential solar rooftop. See p. 22 of
    http://files.ctctcdn.com/15d8d5a7001/3f338a6a-eece-4303-b8c4-c007181a59ad.pdf

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