Rich in sunshine, Spain is the only country to tax renewable energy self-consumption

Environmentalist and author Chris Stewart at his organic farm in the Alpujarras, where solar power is the only source of electricity

Environmentalist and author Chris Stewart at his organic farm in the Alpujarras, where solar power is the only source of electricity, has been scathing about the draft regulations

A new report from the the International Energy Agency (IEA) reveals that Spain is the only country in the world to tax home renewable energy generation.

Sunshine is one of Spain’s blessings.. Reliable sunshine, and a nice climate, are reasons why so many tourists visit Spain every year, and why people buy property here. And reliable sunshine is ideal for renewable energy generation at home with solar panels.

Given that Governments everywhere want to encourage green energy and self-consumption, you would think the same would be true in Spain, given its natural advantage when it comes to sunshine. But it turns out that Spain is the only country in the world that discourages home generation and self-consumption by targeting it with an extra tax. If you have solar panels at home, and you are on the grid, you will be hit by an extra charge on your electricity bill.

I wrote about this last year when I explained how Government policy in Spain discourages people from renewable home energy generation through higher charges. But I didn’t realise that Spain is the only country in the world to do this. Now it’s official, though the IEA report also suggests that other countries might follow Spain’s example.

“It is generally accepted that variable grid costs on the part of electricity bill that is saved thanks to self-consumption should not be paid,” explains the report from the IEA. “Spain applies an additional tax that recovers a part of these grid costs.In a more general way, several countries have either modified the structure of the grid tariffs (to increase the fixed part and reduce the variable part linked to the consumption), such as some Australian grid operators, or are discussing it (France). In Belgium a grid tax will have to be paid in several regions to repay a part of saved grid costs (but since the net-metering allows full compensation of the PV consumption, these additional grid costs could be attributed only to the injected part).”

Spain is also one of the few, if not the only country not to compensate home generate for excess energy sold back to the grid. Government policy implies that energy has no value.

Spain should be a leader in the field of renewable home energy generation, not just an outstanding example of how not to regulate things.

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One thought on “Rich in sunshine, Spain is the only country to tax renewable energy self-consumption”

  1. Profile photo of rojoybagorojoybago

    Hasn’t it been law for any new build (last ten years or so) to have solar panels?? I wonder if these new builds now pay extra as a result of having these cheap/ useless and obligatory panels on the roof?; have you noticed that nobody talks about the billions spent by Zapatero on solar energy fields? was old technology and never used? oh dear, is it incompetence or corruption?

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