Spain: New taxes on regenerative electricity

In the wake of the debt crisis, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced further burdens for the energy sector, most of which will affect the sustainable energy industry.

More bad news for Spain's regenerative energy sector. After subsidies were cut at the start of the year, the producers of regenerative electricity are now being asked to pay a hefty special tax on each kilowatt-hour they produce. According to the government's plans, this tax will amount to 19 % for photovoltaics and 11 % for wind power. The government hopes to collect one billion euros each year with this new tax.

The other green energy sources will be taxed between 3 (small hydroelectric plants) and 13 % (solar-thermal electricity), bringing in another 230 million euros.

This would mean that the sustainable energy sector would contribute almost as much as the conventional energy industry's 1.4 billion euros. The nuclear industry will receive a ten-year operating extension for its reactors as compensation.

"While the conventional electricity suppliers can pass on the costs to the customer, this is not possible for photovoltaic operators, for example, as they receive a fixed feed-in tariff", says Mischa Bechberger, speaker for the Spanish renewable energy association APPA from Barcelona. "After the retro-active cuts of recent years, this is the death blow for many operators."

The president of the wind power association AEE, Rocío Sicre, also speaks of a "final blow" against the industry, one that seriously jeopardizes the realization of new wind farm projects in Spain.

Oliver Ristau


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