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Spain: PV industry going through a tense moment

Last Updated: 2013-11-15 16:04:37Views: 1359Size:T|T
In the first seven months of 2013, Spanish compensation for solar photovoltaic (PV) generation reached €1.96 billion (amounting to an average 0.388 €/kWh). Comparing this result with the amount paid for the same period last year, there has been a reduction of 5.43% (0.3995 €/kWh).
Due to the Royal Decree-Law 14/2010, in the next months the overall volume of monthly support is expected to continue falling drastically and the Spanish PV market is not looking bright. The Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) claims that the Royal Decree for the consumption of electricity proposes conditions that completely prevent the PV market’s development instead of suggesting a regulatory framework that would enhance it. 

Furthermore, with the Royal Decree law draft presented to the energy regulator CNE (National Energy Commission) by the Minister of Industry Energy and Tourism (MINETUR) in July, not only will it generate a major decrease in the overall volume of monthly support, as already experienced in 2012, but it will also “prevent the development of energy saving and efficiency practices”, as stated by UNEF.

This document will be in detriment to the Spanish small-scale PV sector. The MINETUR proposes the introduction of new electricity fees for renewable power generated by electricity consumers for self-consumption. According to UNEF, self-consumption has become the only option for the PV industry to survive in the short term in Spain after the memorandum on Feed-In tariffs for new renewable energy projects. If introduced, the electricity fee will make self-consumption more expensive than conventional power supply, besides being a discriminatory measure in relation to other consumers. 

The CNE, supported by the National Association of Renewable Energy Producers and Investors (ANPIER), has made clear its position against the ''backup toll'', highlighting the negative consequences it would have for the Spanish PV industry and the remuneration value for investments.

Finally, UNEF stated: “while in neighbouring countries - Germany, Italy, Belgium, USA, Japan, Brazil ... - consumption is encouraged as a way to develop clean generation, savings, efficiency, energy independence, promoting employment, etc., Spain refuses a future in which technological convergence of distributed generation and smart grids are the protagonists of smart cities”, underlining how this measure is in complete contradiction with other countries’ energy policies.

Spain is a country with vast PV potential, where self-consumption can significantly minimise the impact on the network, while assuring the development of renewable energy sources. With respect to this, EPIA regrets the Spanish Government’s decision to establish barriers for the development of PV in general and self-consumed PV electricity in particular. 

Vladimir Pekic, Spanish PV producers receive $2.6 billion in compensation as industry faces doom, 11 September 2013, PV-magazine
Vladimir Pekic, Spanish energy regulator blasts government proposals, 12 September 2013, PV-magazine