Community & Culture In Spain, Solar Energy Storage is Worse Than Nuclear Spillage

Published on June 18th, 2015 | by Aisha Abdelhamid

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In Spain, Solar Energy Storage is Worse Than Nuclear Spillage

June 18th, 2015 by

Storing solar energy in a battery in Spain is more criminal than spilling radioactive waste. That’s the implied message written between the lines of a recently drafted law poised for fast-track approval by the government of Spain. Proposed fines for residential and SME use of solar energy self-consumption will be as high as €60 million ($67.7 million).

Applying to grid-connected solar PV installations of up to 15 kW, Spain’s new “solar tax” will be €8.9 ($10) per kW for residential consumers, and range up to €36 ($40.6) per kW for medium-size businesses. Off-grid solar installation owners, however, will be permitted to install solar storage units without fear of paying the new tax.

In Spain, Solar Energy Storage is Worse Than Nuclear Spillage

Spain’s “Ideological Campaign Against Solar”

Speaking recently to PV Tech, Union Espanola Fotovoltaico (UNEF), the PV Association of Spain, stated that “this would be the only self-consumption law in the world created only to prohibit the development of self-consumption.”

UNEF added that Spain’s new law is “retroactive” because if projects do not fit within the new parameters they will become illegal, even if already legally approved. Specifically, the new law requires that the owner and consumer must be the same person, and installations may no longer exceed 100 kW. Infringements will be treated very seriously, resulting in the maximum fines of up to €60 million ($67.7 million). This amount is twice as high as the penalty for causing a leak of radioactive waste in Spain, currently set at €30 million ($33.85 million).

“There is an ideological campaign against solar,” stated UNEF General Director José Donoso, “and a lobby from the utilities, which have a dominant position in the market.”

Solar Hostility Generating Discriminatory Policy

The new levy on solar energy self-consumption from a grid-connected owner’s storage unit will have a seriously negative impact on the solar installation payback period. SMEs using self-consumption are expected to have a lengthening of payback time from four to seven years. PV Tech also notes that taxation on “residential self-consumption of solar energy in Spain could increase payback time from around 16 years to 31 years.”

Calling the new solar tax “discriminatory,” UNEF pointed out that no other energy efficiency measure in Spain is required to pay this tax. Gas, coal, and nuclear generators self-consume at least 8% of their energy, but are not subject to the tax at all, and self-consumption from cogeneration of electricity and heat is tax-exempt until 2020.

With only around 100 MW of PV self-consumption currently installed in Spain, UNEF notes that, even if this number doubled, “the Government would only generate €6 million (US$6.8 million) from the tax.” However, UNEF calculated that Spain could easily generate €230 million ($259.5 million) by applying the same penalty for self-consumption to traditional energy plants. Applied to cogeneration, Spain would additionally gain €100 million ($112.8 million).

UNEF’s Donoso said, “In general terms, all the policies of the Spanish government in the last four years are anti-renewables.”

The Sorely Depressed Solar Industry of Spain

This new law will critically impact the already depressed solar industry, stated Donoso. In the last three years, he explained, Spain has upheld a moratorium against new utility-scale solar PV projects, and has been voicing strong rhetoric against solar self-consumption for the past two years.

In 2014, another solar-hostile bill was passed retroactively limiting returns investors can collect on solar PV projects from July 2013, and onward into Spain’s bleak renewables future. That controversial bill capped the profits of PV projects at 7.4% before tax, and 5.5% after tax.

Speaking on that occasion last year, Donoso stated, “The Royal Decree approved by the Council of Ministers penalises not only the past but also the future.” Understating the obvious, he added, “With the legal uncertainty that has been created for our country, it will be very difficult in the future to convince investors that come to this area, or only do so with a risk premium that will hurt the competitiveness of technology.”

In 2014, only 22 MW of solar PV was installed in Spain, and today, expectations for 2015 are similar. About this expectation, Donoso notes dryly, “If we are lucky.”

Claims against the newly drafted solar tax law will be taken for fewer than two weeks, complained Donoso. Then, heaping Spanish insult on top of solar market injury, this latest controversial law will be pushed through for approval in Spain’s State Council.

fines in spain for solar self-consumption double that for nuclear spills from pv-tech.org

Picture Credits: top) www.solargridstorage.com (edited by A.A.). Bottom) Spain’s infringement fines, from www.pv-tech.org

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About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, green building, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.



  • Javier Delgado Esteban

    Great article, best one so far on the farcical state of affairs

  • Antonio Gallego

    In our country, Spain, we don´t have gas & oil. All of this has to be imported from foreign countries. What we have is sun and wind… and we also have these laws that disable the people to benefit from the nature to satisfy their needs of energy. Thanks to articles like yours, I hope that this pathetic situation will change soon.

  • JJ Barceló

    One more example of the nonsense that exudes from our government’s ingrained bigotry.

  • This is because most politicians have friends in electrical companies, and wants to join with them when their 4 years mandate ends. So, if we get electricity from the sun, they can loose money and the monopoly could reachs its end.
    Apologize for my English, I am an angry Spanish.

  • Viva el vino !!!

  • Gonzo263

    You guys in USA seem to have enough time to find flaws in other countries yet it looks you lack time improve something as essential as a fair health care system. Does the sentence “44 million citizens without medical insurance” ring any bell? But hey no worries the solar energy will solve all their problems.

  • jesus_t

    Most of the spanish ministers ends his government work in Electric enterprises.
    They are dangerous mobsters.

  • Lodicho
  • koxu

    Estoy aquí por FinoFilipino

    • bboy manolito

      Me too, stupid and sexy FinoFilipino…

    • IYO KE DISE

      enlaces al arca joder, ENLACES AL PUTO ARCA

  • Hope Hill

    This happens because most Spaniards are blind and continue voting corrupt politicians as if they were supporting sports teams, in terms of right or left, blue or red, only thinking about which of them are going to preserve their underpaid jobs in slavery, not using their minds in the long term to see they need to change those people to improve their lives, and that paying the price of losing a poor job is not an end, and it is worth if you lose it in order to get more chances to get a better job for you, your sons and your grandsons.

    Spanish people need to lose the fear of changes in their lives, they need to not hear that changes are the end of civilization. It’s something inside lots of people that makes them to be ashamed of their ideas if they smell like different.

    Some of us have already learnt and have the hope of a better future. Not thinking for ourselves is our worst enemy as it makes us weak.

    You could tell every politician is the same. Maybe, but I want to give us the oportunity to be robbed by other politicians that haven’t had the opportunity yet.

  • oscargzgc

    I’m spanish and it’s true.. Our politicians make laws to preserve the business of companies that later, when they retire from politics, are hired as consultants by incredibly high salaries.

    They are not interested or ecological benefit of citizens.

  • Jon

    Spain was in the head of european countries in terms of clean energy investments some years ago. Not only solar, but also wind power. But our current government is a ultraconservative criminal bunch of thiefs that rule only for big corporations and lobbies. This law was made to ensure that spanish energy oligopoly continues filling their pockets with money from the impoverished people of Spain. By the way, energy was public, cheap an efficient in the 90’s, before it was privatized by a socialist government (!) The problem of Spain is not about energy, is about feudalism.

    • I couldn’t write it better

  • toni

    In a few monts, all this will be history, because the Spanish population will give a kick in the ass to the popular party.

    • Dr troll

      Lol no…

  • David Leroux Paez

    It would be nice if you mention on the article that, actual government in spain (Partido Popular, Conservative party) had absolute majority what means that they do whatever they want. To omit this “small” detail make us, all the rest of the spanish population, look like idiots or even worse when we are not. Or at least, some of us not. Thanks

    • Dr troll

      yes you are… all of you vote for “Partido Popular”

    • GipsyTipsy

      When the absolute majority means the 40% of the votes and you cheat on the election process, is easy to be selected. And When you create a new law that forbids people take to the streets for protesting, it’s easy to make other people look idiotic. The same way stupid people like you try to defend the actual awful situation in Spain.

      • Mike Gilli

        exactly, the history of the electricity in Spain is one of massive and continuing fraud. Even the electricity meters overcharged for a generation! Top politicians retire to honorary highly paid jobs in the in dustry.

  • onemoretime

    The Actuall goberment of Spain is Composed for Franco sons (Fachas).

    • Please, don’t lie

      • Dr troll

        he is not lying…

      • Alfsito

        Most of the elected PP members have strong conections with Franco dictatorship members or members of the oligarchy that raised up with Franco.
        The actual problems is that this people have interest with traditional monopolistic energy business in Spain, many of them have occupied important positions in these companys after being in the government.

        • ¿Os dais cuenta de que sois todos Españoles hablando en inglés?

          • Lodicho

            Lo que queremos es que la prensa internacional y la gente de fuera que visita esta página vea la realidad retrógrada y auto-destructiva del gobierno Español.

          • Eso es tener mucha ilusión y esperanza xDDD

          • Alfsito

            Si, toda una proeza. Supongo tambien que te habras dado cuenta de que escribimos en una pagina inglesa y se lo contamos a los ingleses no a los españoles.

          • Lodicho

            A la muchísimos españoles no se les puede contar estas cosas, son muy cerrados de mente.

          • Uy si, seguro que escribir en esta web tiene una gran repercusión.

        • Sergio סרחיו

          That’s not true, and if it were, what?

          I mean, now Spain is a full democracy, and I don’t care about the grandparents of the current people in the government. Francoist troops killed members of my family, who supported the Republicans. Now I support the People’s Party and the current Spanish government.

          • Lodicho

            liar! you are a liar!

          • Sergio סרחיו

            No, I am not.

          • Lodicho

            Yes. Fascism is legal in Spain and spanish people don’t want a king who was put into power by Franco and takes Spanish money doing nothing.

          • Sergio סרחיו

            Fascism is legal, yes. And communism, too. It’s called democracy. but in my opinion both should be made illegal. No Falange and no Podemos/IU. Nice, isn’t?

            Did the Spanish people appoint you as their spokesman? You have no right to talk in the name of the Spanish people. Most Spanish people want a monarchy, according to latest polls, and most Spanish people voted for the current government.

            The monarchy is doing A LOT.

          • Lodicho

            You’re saying a lot of nonsense stops troll.

          • Lodicho

            First At All: I am liberal voter, but I’m not xenophobic There are more tolerant parties….

            You seems not to live in spain or you seems being a trol right-wing…

            Im not in favour of Podemos… But podemos isn’t even comunism… Are you a kid or something?

            VAx, La falange, som PP’s Ideas, C’s, Frente Nacional…. and all those xenophobic parties should be illegal…

            http://i43.tinypic.com/2aahn4w.jpg

          • Alfsito

            Well if you think its normal a government with strong connections with Franco, thats all. You can Imagine a political party in Germany formed by important members of the Nazi party, well you cant.
            And I dont care if your grandparents were supporting republic, extra information we didnt need to hear about.

          • Sergio סרחיו

            Franco died decades ago, and the ones who were part of Franco’s administration are dead and not in the PP.

            You guys are insane. You’re living in a parallel fantasy world. We are in 2015. You were not even born then!

          • Alfsito

            Im not insane, the same people who got rich during francos era are the same who now are giving the chance to their familiar to do the same. ¿Or do you think massive corruption during the first PP government happened randomly? Maybe its you and many other PP voters who still live in fantasy and dont know where all this rich oligarchy came from.

          • Kosei Desu

            You sure have NO IDEA about who is in the Gobernment in Spain right now.

    • Santiaguin

      hahahahaha Aprende inglés ignorante y luego ya te dedicas a tus tareas de divulgador internacional.

      • Alfsito

        Demuestranos tus dotes, genio.

        • Santiaguin

          Siento que te hayas sentido inferior toda tu vida por estar rodeado de genios que hablan inglés en este mundo. Para hablar inglés no hace falta ser un genio. Simplemente motivación por saber hablar el idioma. Yo no soy ningún genio, pero no me gusta hacer el ridículo como español en una noticia en la que ya quedamos como nos ridículos, básicamente porque amo a mi país y me da vergüenza que vean lo tontos que somos y además demostrarlo. Dado que quiero que esto deje de ser así, te diré que si quieres que alguien de habla inglesa entienda eso, debería haber escrito: The current government of Spain is composed of sons of Franco. Vivo en los Paises bajos y estoy harto de que la gente remarque que hablo inglés pese a que soy español, porque aunque no lo sabeis toda Europa; excepto Italia, habla mejor inglés que España. Es una pena, pero en el mundo en el que vivimos un país que no habla inglés no tiene futuro. Un saludo y te mando fuerzas para convertirte en un genio.

          • Alfsito

            Pues mira Santiaguin, la frase que habia escrito el otro forero se entendia perfectamente. Siento decirte que precisamente en Eiropa tienen una idea bastante mas pragmatica de para que sirve el ingles, y rara vez alguien critica o cuestiona tu acento o gramatica cuando es perfectamente entendible. Puede que la incapacidad española para aprender una lengua sea un rasgo bastante preocupante, pero creeme que no se debe a gente que hace el esfuerzo de participar en un foro extranjero en ingles. Sin embargo si es bastante preocupante de nuestra sociedad nuestra capacidad para ningunear a la gente y restarle merito a sus acciones, que es probablemente una de las razones por las que nos negamos nuestra capacidad para aprender ingles, y peor aun, estamos dirigidos por ineptos que venden humo y se han convertido en profesionales en auparse entre codazos. Mucha suerte en tu aventura y espero que empieces a fijarte en los europeos para mejorar tu y no criticar a tus compatriotas.

          • Lodicho

            Amo mi país y España tiene mucho potencial, pero no por eso voy a dejar de denunciar la actual y retrógrada tendencia política y social que están destrozando un país maravilloso.

            Y si quedamos mucho en ridículo será porque somos ridículos. No tenemos que demostrar que sabemos inglés o que somos los mejores si la realidad no es esa. Si España no sabe hablar inglés, que es así, es por estos gobiernos que prefieren gastarse el dinero en toros y corridas que en I+D, por ejemplo, y eso aparece reflejado y tiene que ser denunciado, no oculto.

            ¡Pero si hay mas de un 25% de pobreza infantil en España!

            Quien más se piensa que ama España, es quien la está destrozando (si, hablo de los típicos fachorros de ” ¡Arriba españa! “).

      • onemoretime

        Todo sea por acabar con vosotros. Oh yeah

        • Santiaguin

          Simplemente, lo que sucede es que me da vergüenza la noticia porque parecemos tontos los españoles. Pero si además la noticia que se publica en un medio de habla inglesa se acompaña de comentarios en inglés nivel español pues me da más vergüenza, porque realmente parecemos idiotas los españoles, ya que somos los europeos que peor hablamos el inglés solo superados por los italianos. Y lo se porque vivo en en los Países bajos y se lo que se opina de nosotros fuera y he visto como hablan inglés la gente que procede de otros países europeos. Por eso te digo sin ánimo de ofender que como no vamos a tener problema con el gobierno si el pueblo es así. Es una pena pero si tenemos este gobierno es porque el pueblo se lo ha buscado.

          Un saludo.

          • onemoretime

            Pues viendo que nuestro representante de gobierno para el resto del mundo sabe, seguro, menos ingles que yo me parece hasta buena idea que la gente de otros paises vea como esta la educación. Agradezcamos a nuestros gobiernos y a los tiranos, que asi les recordará la historia, que están jodiendo día a día nuestro futuro y el de futuras generaciones . Que damos mala impresión a otros países bueno pues ya tenemos a nuestro Rey Relaciones Publicas S.A para remediarlo. Miro la television o internet y yo mismo siento repulsa por este pais como para preocuparme también que he escrito algo mal en ingles un comentario.
            Saludos y Viva la Republica y el exilio de los hijos de Franco

    • Cr4sH

      The problem is not Franco and fascists , is the corruption and legislate for multinationals

      • GipsyTipsy

        Both are the problem. Multinationals ruled by fascists. Politicians that work for those Multinationals after their legislature.

      • Lodicho

        Vox= Fascist, C’s=Fachas, Falange= Fascist,

        King Juan Carlos I = He was put in power by franco, A lot of streets and figures with name in honor to Franco, El valle de los Caidos= The biggest monument to Franco… The actual government, PP, denfends Franco.

        The problem is that Franco winned the civil war and Franco is Present in the society.

        http://www.foroporlamemoria.info/documentos/2005/img/familiademocrata_enero2005/18687.jpg

        This retrograde government is not interested in the evolution and development.

        • Sergio סרחיו

          What century are you living in?

          You commies only know to call “fascist” everyone who is not communist. Grow up losers.

          • Lodicho

            No estoy a favor del comunismo, pienso que es igual de horrible que el fascismo, solo digo la verdad. Tu te piensas que por criticar el fascismo soy comunista y solo eres un niñato que no sabes de lo que hablas.

            Lamentablemente estoy en pleno siglo XXI donde a dia de hoy hay pueblos gobernados por VOS, La falange… Estás diciendo un montón de tonterías y estás negando la verdad.

            http://www.infonacional.com/2015/05/falange-espanola-entra-en-el.html

            Pueblos como este existen muchos en españa y es porque la Franco ganó la guerra y mató friamente a todos los opositores.

            Para de mentir y de negar la realidad.

        • Sergio סרחיו

          Today most Spaniards support monarchy and Spaniards supported it in 1978 along with the Constitution. The “Valle de los Caídos” is not a monument to Franco, but to all victims of the Civil War.

          You’re a sick liar.

          You were not even born then! Grow up kid!

          • Lodicho

            El valle de los caidos is a monumento to Franco, It was built with the blood of the losing side.

            My famimily was born then, the spanish people dont want monarchy.

            Only the fascists have been buried with dignity

            million families in Spain have their ancestors in holes with many corpses of Republicans and fascists do not stop exhuming the bodies to recover the ancestors …

            El valle de los caidos is the tomb of Franco and his slaves… And only is visited by followers of Franco.

            stop lying and stop defending the facts of Spanish fascism.

            And you do not know my past, do not even know if I have suffered the fascist Franco regime,

    • Sergio סרחיו

      You’re reeeaaaally stupid.

      • Lodicho

        The problem is that many people like you who defends Franco.

        • Sergio סרחיו

          I have never defended Franco and I would never do.

          • onemoretime

            Tu, deja de defender a tu padre, el ministro Soria. Ya que solo un hijo mal parido de la falange dirá que lo que hace ese tirano está justificado, ni meditado ni estudiado.
            Seguid así nuevas juventudes de Franquismo,dejad bien claro como pensais para que os al podamos jugar con facilidad.

          • Lodicho

            there is much influence of Franco and fascism in Spain nowadays. More than another country of Europe because its legal!

            Fascism is legal in Spain!

          • Sergio סרחיו

            You’re living in a parallel fantasy world, mate.

          • Lodicho

            Unfortunately I’m living in Spain, however i dont know what is the privilegiate world you live in.

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