Clean Power

Published on June 15th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Spain Gets Reported To European Parliament By 100+ Spanish Bodies

June 15th, 2013 by  

The Spanish government has stepped on a few toes with its recent retroactive solar power incentive cuts… well, it has stepped on a lot of toes, and those toes are stepping back:

Spain, in the midst of a less than ideal economic situation, recently made some retroactive cuts to its solar energy incentives. Not cool, dude… not cool. That messes with investor confidence, citizen confidence, and also the country’s ability to combat global warming (not to mention its ability to recover from the economic situation it’s in).

In response, some Spanish organizations, businesses, political parties, social groups, and organizations have reported the country to the European Parliament. In particular, the associations argue that Spain will not be able to meet its 20% renewable energy by 2020 target, which is a part of the European directive 2009/28/EC. They also argue that the changes will result in the violation of European directive 2009/72/EC, which concerns European electricity market rules.

The release also notes a rather obvious violation of the law: “Remember also that the cuts have been retroactive and thus violate the principle of legitimate expectations established by the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

spain renewable energy cuts spain eu parliament

“They are putting at risk a strategic sector in Europe vital to reduce energy dependence and achieve the environmental objectives of the European Union,” the petition states, according to a press release on the website of Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF). Furthermore, this “could be followed by other states, putting at risk the achievement of the objectives of the Directive on renewables,” the petition adds.

A quote from the UNEF press release translated from Spanish using Google Translate notes: “the measures taken by Spain in recent years make it impossible to develop renewable energy, a sector that has faced successive legislation and changes in market rules of the game: retroactivity cut production hours, new taxes, moratorium, no premiums update by IPC or abolition of the premium market mode.”

The petition has been signed by the Platform for a New Energy Model citizen-group, which is  “composed of individuals and organizations over a hundred environmental, social, business, trade unions and political parties and major business associations in the renewable energy sector in Spain, such as: Acluxega, AEBIG, AEVERSU, Agæn, Anpier, Appa, Aprean, Apuee, Aremur, Aserma, Asit, Avaesen, EolicCat, Protermosolar Solartys and Unef.”

Good luck to these Spanish leaders in getting Spain’s horrendous solar policy moves corrected.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Andrew Smith

    Hi all

    I’m currently living in Spain. Most of RE advocates agree the change of government (about Nov 2011) was key to this withdrawal of support to RE. The ‘Popular Party’, now ruling, has always criticized support to renewables.

    Despite the financial crisis, political reasons have been even more strong. You know, there are two big parties, PSOE and PP, if PSOE is advocate for something, then PP opposes to it.

    Furthermore, utilities in Spain are a big lobby, Economy Minister is a former member of one of them and almost all Ministers have shares in any of the three major utilities. And even more, many of former members of government are now working for these companies.

    A few months before elections, utilities began a very intense campaign in the medias asking to next government to withdraw support to RE -they proposed to shut down many of solar projects-. One of the main supporters to this campaign was Iberdrola, which also operates in the US promoting renewable energy projects.

    BTW, next week, government will release new measures for the electric sector, and RE sector is expecting a further reduction of incentives.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Does anyone know why there was such as significant back step with Spain’s support for solar? I know that Spain’s economy was very badly hurt by the 2008 financial meltdown. Was the government cutting everything they could find to cut in response to budget problems or was it due to/partially due to pushback by fossil fuel interests?

    • Across the board cuts. From what I read. (No care to protect the solar industry or commitments from those.)

  • JamesWimberley

    My personal beef with Spanish solar anti-policy is the blocking of the implementation decree on net metering (google “real decreto balance neto”), probably at the instigation of incumbent utilities. Spain gets 50% more sun than Germany. Solar PV would be economic on millions of rooftops without subsidy, provided there’s an effective right to sell surplus current to the grid – even at a moderate discount. It’s a policy to prevent job creation.

    • Yeah, that’s one of the real shockers. Has to have been utility driven.

      • Ross

        Their economy is in deep trouble due to a property bubble bursting and they’ve shocking levels of youth unemployment.

        This is a case where positive outside interference from the EU could help them get back on track. More solidarity is also needed to help them fix their screwed up economy.

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