Spain still hasn’t formed a government since parliamentary elections last December, but at least the controversial “sun tax” of the previous conservative administration is likely to be discontinued. Spain’s solar association Union Espanola Fotovoltaica reported on Wednesday that last week 227 members of parliament — a solid majority — signed an agreement that if they form a new government, within 100 days they will remove the Royal Decree against self-consumption of solar energy, a.k.a. the “sun tax.” (See Blouin News’ take on renewable energy in Spain, including the sun tax.) In its place, the signatories will institute a net-metering system, as practiced by most other Mediterranean countries.
The main supporter of the sun tax, conservative Partido Popular, was weakened in the election and has just 120 seats.
Still, the agreement needs to be formally approved in parliament in order to take effect, and the jury is still out as to whether a new government will be formed or whether another general election will have to take place in June.
But time is of the essence here, because the decree mandates that PV owners have until April 10 to make the necessary (and expensive) adaptions to connect to the national 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,” said Daniel Pérez, attorney at Holtrop S.L.P, the firm which wrote the new agreement.)
Repealing the sun tax is the right move for Spain, particularly for people that have already invested in PV panels. A net-metering system should fix the grid’s imbalances, without hamstringing the country’s solar industry.