Country: Spain

Please find below latest updates as regards national policy and legal-administrative changes. For more information on these measures please contact the national association, contact details are available here

December 2013 - Law 24/2013 of the Electricity Sector

On the 26th of December 2013 the Spanish Parliament approved Law 24/2013, of the electricity sector which replaces the Law 54/1997 after sixteen years from its entry into force. The Law has entered into force on January 1st 2014

Existing RES plants will automatically be switched to the new register being the inscription in this specific register a fundamental condition to be eligible to the applicable remunerative regime. The Registry of the Specific Remunerative Regime will resort under the Ministry for Industry, Energy and Tourism and will stipulate the remunerative parameters applicable to those plants.

PV installations destined to self-consumption, as described in the proposed royal decree of self-consumption, with a mandatory legal obligation for any citizen to register his installation if he wants to produce and consume his own electricity.

Registered installations will have to pay a fee, called backup toll, for every MWh of electricity produced and self-consumed as a contribution to the fixed cost of the grid. This fee does not apply to off-grid installations.

The new reform will result in a new cutback for renewable energy producers which, for photovoltaic energy, will ratify the 30% average cut on support schemes put in place by RDL 14/2010 and that will be in force until the 14th of July of 2013 (which means until the reform itself enters into force) and thus will have very negative in impact on the Spanish RES sector. 

Besides that the new reform also applies the new regime to "the regulatory lifespan of the PV installations" therefore this application will have retroactive effect as far back as pre 2004 plants.

The new retribution system is discriminative. Combining large groups of PV producers in standard projects which do not reflects the real investment costs is for itself discriminative and obviously damages the most costly projects within each standard project group.

July 2013 -Royal Decree Law 9/2013, July 12th

Royal Decree Lay 9/2013, approved on Friday July 12th, has completely abolished feed in tariffs (FIT) with retroactive effect for all renewable energy plants on the Spanish territory with effect as of July 14th. The FIT is replaced by a very unsophisticated flat fee investment incentive.

All installations are to be remunerated applying a set of three standard rules, capex is one of them, and the production capacity of the installations becomes irrelevant. You are now considered to fall outside the category of "efficient and well-managed company". The word "standard" which is the adjective of each of the three criterions of article 2.1 a, b and c of RDL9/2013. The description of this word “standard”, it´s absolutely disincentive for the investments already done

February 2013 - IET/221/2013 Legislation, February 14th, establishing tolls of access point from January 1, 2013 and the new and unexpected rates and rewards for special regime installations.

The IET/221/2013, the Spanish government establishes a retroactive feed-in tariff for projects installed between 2009 and 2011.

Due to modifications to the consumer price index (CPI), Spanish Government has set a cut of 0.028% to its solar PV feed-in tariff. The government said that changes to the CPI would help to reduce the country’s financial crisis and would result in consumers not having to bear the brunt of increased fuel bills. The new tariffs are valid from 1 January 2013, and will be applied to all PV installations connected to the grid in Spain from 2009 to 2011. Changing the CPI will increase the number of companies “doomed to insolvency”

January 2013 - Tax on income

Like other electricity producers, PV system owners were assigned a 7% tax on income from electricity production in January 2012. While conventional generators are able to compensate for this loss, at least partially through increased market prices, the fixed FiT level does not allow this for PV system owners. This additional burden drove more companies to bankruptcy and made it even harder for PV system owners to repay their bank loans.

December 2012 - Royal Decree Law 29/2012, 28th December

Royal Decree-Law 29/2012 includes a concerning rule for photovoltaic where claims that investors that must replace panels or inverters which are damaged, wear, theft ... If the damaged equipment cannot be replaced with an identical change because it is already not manufactured; installing a similar equipment can result in the loss of economic regime (FiT)

Indeed. According to paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the RD-L 29/12, "those elements not expressly reflected in the approved implementation project which led to the final registration of the PV installation, may not be considered a part of the installation or be operated unless the corresponding modification is processed by the competent authority. In this case, the installation will correct the economic system of the energy attributable to the changes made, perceiving only  the market price of the PV production. "

January 2012 - Moratorium

Since January 2012 an indefinite FiT suspension for new PV installations has been in place in Spain. This moratorium, together with previous harmful decisions taken by the Spanish Government, has led to major job losses in the sector. Coming from 60.000 direct and indirect jobs in 2008, the Spanish PV sector currently only represents between 5.000 and 7.000 jobs.

December 2010 - Limitations on production hours

A limitation of the production hours during which a PV system owner can receive the FiT was decided for the period 2011 to 2013 (different limitations depending on the type of installation) for all PV systems that were installed after the end of September 2007. This decision, which forced PV system owners to produce electricity without being remunerated, de facto resulted in a FiT reduction of about 30% per year.

November 2010 - Unplanned support reduction

An additional sudden and severe FiT cut of 25% for rooftop PV systems and 45% for ground-mounted PV systems took place in November 2010. It inevitably led to massive losses in revenue for PV system owners and damaged heavily investors’ confidence.

September 2008 - Unplanned support reduction

In September 2008, a 30% FiT cut for new PV installations was implemented, together with a 400 MW cap (of which 267 MW for rooftop PV and 133 MW for ground-mounted PV). Such harsh and sudden measures led to approximately 46,000 job losses in the Spanish PV sector.

 

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