In Spain, Solar Energy Storage is Worse Than Nuclear Spillage

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

Picture Credits: top) (edited by A.A.). Bottom) Spain’s infringement fines, from

73 thoughts on “In Spain, Solar Energy Storage is Worse Than Nuclear Spillage”

  1. Un español decepcionado

    Esto es lo que tenemos que aguantar de un gobierno que le roba a los pobres(ciudadanos) para darselo a los ricos.(politicos)

  2. I guess this is not related with political ideologies but is related just with few ones who likes to protect some economical interest. This is one more of many legal and regulatory scenarios where people and companies preferences are to work away.

  3. John Granadainfo

    There is now a democracy in Spain, but the problem is that people do not vote on the policies of the parties. They just consider themselves locked into the same shade of red or blue as their grandparents. The new solar power law is a complete insult to the people of Spain. Will the Spanish people be insulted by the insult? Probably not. The fact that the Spanish people are being bent over and then shafted up the arse by the present government is not even newsworthy. Paying a tax for generating electricty. ¿estais locos? Stop fighting each other about what happened many years ago and get together and fight against the scum who are robbing you now!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

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

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

          3. 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…


          4. 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.

          5. 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!

          6. 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.

          7. Most Spaniards would like to think that Spain has gotten past Franco, but it’s not true, the country never had closure on this. What does it matter anyways, the country will be a failed state any day now.

          8. Tumbler de Incógnito

            It’s easy as that: Germany is ashamed of the Nazis, Spain is not ashamed of Franco.

          9. בחור טוב

            Spaniards are ashamed of Franco, while commies are proud of the crimes they committed during the civil war.

          10. disqus_mXiJAzRVIF

            Mariano Rajoy published an article on El Faro de Galicia back in the 80’s defending social darwinism and the superiority of race. Many new genereation PP have been found actively defending Francoism. And because I wish not to speak in generalities, but in facts, I invite you to look this up. The truth is, all governments in Spain – let them be monarchies, militar dictatorships, republics or democracies – have been looter government with no actual concern for individual freedom. The issue is not about the government making the decision to fine solar self-supply, it’s about the government making decisions about people’s lives in the first place! A country is nothing but a group of people, and its rights should and must not exceed those of the individuals. The use of force in order to seize money (considering it is used to uphold traditions such as the monarchy or bullfighting) is unjust and morally corrupt.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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! “).

        1. 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.

          1. 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

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

      2. 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.

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

        1. Sergio סרחיו

          What century are you living in?

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

          1. 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.


            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.

        2. 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!

          1. 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,

          1. 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.

          2. 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!

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

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