Published on March 10th, 2016 | by Glenn Meyers15
Parliament In Spain Removes Punitive ‘Sun Tax’
March 10th, 2016 by Glenn Meyers
Spain’s solar association Union Espanola Fotovoltaica (UNEF) reports a majority of members in the Spanish parliament have signed an agreement removing a controversial Royal Decree against self-consumption of solar energy, also known as the ‘sun tax.’ The agreement has been made within 100 days of a new government being formed.
Although Spain has not formed a government following general elections last year, 227 members of parliament agreed last week to remove negative policies against solar self-consumption should a majority government be formed out of the signatories of the agreement.
According to PV-Tech, the conservative Partido Popular party, which backs policies against solar self-consumption, also called the ‘sun tax’ on energy produced and consumed without feeding the grid, currently has just 120 seats.
José Donoso, UNEF general director, has said this current agreement needs to be approved formally in parliament, but Spain is currently in a “complicated” political situation and it is unclear if a government will be formed soon or if new general elections will have to take place in June.
If a government is formed by signatories of this agreement, the parties have agreed to approve removing the ‘sun tax’ within 100 days, and will approve a net metering system. It is also hoped these parties will simplify the administrative policies for solar.
Last June, UNEF said a “sun tax” would make solar uneconomical even for self-consumption, adding net-metering policies found in most other Mediterranean countries. Mediterranean countries with net metering include Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus.
Daniel Pérez, attorney at Holtrop S.L.P, the firm which wrote the new agreement document, said it is critical for owners of existing installations for the changes to come in by 10 April.
“The Royal Decree was approved on 10 October and it ruled that existing installations have six months (up to 10 April) to adapt to the new norm. If the Royal Decree is not removed before 10 April, owners of existing installations will have to make costly adaptations such as including a meter and connecting to the grid. New installations would not be affected by the deadline as they are likely to be installed with the necessary technical specifications of the decree anyway.”
For any of this to take effect, a government still needs to be formed.
Net metering policies vary considerably in different states in the US.
Image: Spain flag via Shutterstock