Unlike building regulations the Solar industry is very highly regulated now.
A good informative post Vince.
You say “A well-installed park is actually something to behold” and Germany is such a good example of this, doing things the right way and successfully for all concerned.
You are absolutely right re. all the regulations/requirements being in place in Spain. In theory all looks good, but in practice?
As we all now know, the construction business was supposed to have been highly regulated with so many ‘checks’ in place. Builders having to adhere to the PGOU plan (ignored), Town Planning depts. only supposed to issue building licences that was in accordance with the PGOU (ignored), developers having to issue Bank Guarantees by law (ignored), Banks supposedly honouring Bank Guarantees in cases of breach of contract (ignored), lawyers protecting their client’s interests in the purchasing process (not happening), judges giving justice to purchasers in illegal-build situations (not happening).
So look what happened there!
In the Mediterranean country I am living in with practically identical regulations as you describe in your post, the whole system re. these parks is wide open for ‘fiddles’.
Remember, the bigger the investor, the more ‘influence’ he has, the higher the circles he mixes in, and the more likely it is he has a friend or relative in the appropriate ‘high places’. Whether it be in the licensing depts., banks etc. or Iberdrola itself.
To take one example, yes – allocations for absorbtion by the grid provider is given to each area. But the small land owner who just wants a small park of say 100kW is given a higher rate per kW hour than someone with a larger park. Here, there is one rate per kW up to 150kW, then drops for any park over that. That gives Iberdrola yet another incentive to only grant licences to larger parks. Each kW/per hour produced is cheaper for them to buy. In some areas, just issuing licences for a couple of large parks will take up the total allocation re. absorbtion for that whole area. So the smaller land-owners are squeezed out and simply told to re-apply for next year’s allocation, only probably to get squeezed out again by the big-guys.
The very fact that such huge sums of money are involved, I think the risk of B.E.S. (brown envelope syndrome 😉 ) is very much there, and as we have learned – can work in the highest of places. I think there will be as many ‘nods and winks’ in this new photovoltaic area of business as there was in the construction business. It is already happening here.
I’m so cynical I would even say it is the perfect scenario for a spot of money-laundering. It will also attract high-rolling ‘syndicates’ of wealthy (influential) buddies, and we all know where they are likely to be employed…..
Hopefully I will be proved totally wrong!