In a great show of unified civil disapproval of Spain’s recently proposed “solar tax” law, over 188,000 citizens have signed an online petition against it in less than one week.
Penalizing grid-connected solar installations of up to 15kW using battery storage systems, Spain’s new solar tax would be from €8.9 (US$10) per kilowatt for residential consumers, and up to €36 (US$40.6) per kW for medium size businesses. The new tax would result in an increase to payback time for solar-plus-storage owners from about 16 years to 31 years.
Hefty penalties for infringements are set absurdly high, capping out at €60 million (US$67.7 million), which is twice as high as the fine for spilling nuclear waste in Spain.
Spain’s Pro-Solar Uprising
Launching an online petition on Avaaz.org to voice disapproval of Spain’s solar-hostile legislation, as of Wednesday evening over 188,000 citizens had signed. Entitled, ¡NO al impuesto al SOL! (Don’t Tax the Sun!), the petition explanation and statement, as translated by Google Translate, and edited a bit by yours truly to improve the grammar, reads:
The Ministry of Industry is working around the clock to protect the powerful electric oligopoly imposing new barriers to economically asphyxiate those citizens who wish to produce their own electricity using solar power. Let us unite to prevent this shameful solar tax.
Given the tremendous loss of regional and local power in the last election, the government’s plan is simple: take advantage of the regional power vacuum to strike down consumption, forcing anyone to mount a system of solar panels to spend 31 years depreciating!
The Ministry was forced to open a public consultation – Let us seize the process to flood hundreds of thousands of signatures against it, that resonate in all media and give the alarm to the Autonomous Communities.
Sign the petition and share it with everyone you know so that we become in the news this week.
The translated petition statement that citizens are signing reads:
The Minister of Industry, José Manuel Soria:
As citizens dismayed by this new attack on renewables, we require you to immediately remove any liens as you add new users who choose self-consumption. In the country of the sun, show that they are on the side of citizens favoring the production of energy in a decentralized, sustainable and cheap way.
Spain’s Citizens Petition for the Ouster of Minister Soria
Pushing the proposed bill through on the fast track, the open period for comments was purposely limited to less than two weeks. However, the petition strategy is proving very effective at making the people’s voices heard–in Spain and all around the world. Launched simultaneously, a second petition calls for the investigation and dismissal of José Manuel Soria, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, responsible for proposing the wildly unpopular solar energy self-consumption tax.
As translated by Google and lightly edited for grammar, the following explanation accompanies the petition calling for the investigation and dismissal of Spain’s Minister Soria:
Today already know that industry deceived us, perpetrating a mortal cut to renewable energy of reportedly over 3,000 million per year.
To justify this, the Ministry hired two consultants. One of them broke the contract. The other submitted its report after the cut had already been approved!
But together we can rectify this nonsense. The government is still groggy after the electoral “costalazo,” (downfall?) and a large group of environmental and consumer organizations, and other sectors of civil society, is about to file a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor.
If in the coming hours citizen unleashed an unexpected storm, we can overheat the media atmosphere and critically help to clarify the facts and uncover criminal actions and those politically responsible. Including Minister Soria. Join the petition and share with everyone.
The translated petition statement which citizens are adding their signatures to reads:
The Special Prosecutor against Corruption and the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy:
As citizens appalled at the destruction of renewable energies for large electrical utilities, we demand the immediate resignation of Minister Soria and the performance of the anti-corruption prosecutor to determine under what circumstances, who and why proceeded to cut 3,000 million annually from renewable energy without technical reports to endorse the measure.
Crashing Spain’s Government Internet Server
Likewise attracting huge numbers of signatures and comments, José Donoso of Spain’s PV association Union Espanola Foltovoltaico (UNEF), told PV Tech that the petitions had received “record” numbers in such a short time.
In fact, Donoso related, “the government internet server crashed several times under the number of signatures and comments.” As of Wednesday evening (1 July), more than 35,000 comments against the minister were presented and over 153,000 signatures had been recorded, calling for the ouster of Spain’s Minister José Manuel Soria.
Add your signature to Spain’s petitions, too: