• Spain edition
 
'Let's tax the sun': new law shocks world press
Some homeowners have removed their solar panels rather than face fines of up to €30 million. Photo: JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

'Let's tax the sun': new law shocks world press

Published: 21 Aug 2013 14:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Aug 2013 14:27 GMT+02:00

US business and finance magazine Forbes pulled no punches in an article titled, "Out of ideas and in debt, Spain sets sights on taxing the sun".

It pointed out that Spain "is one of the top countries in the world with respect to installed photovoltaic (PV) solar energy capacity."

But the author took an incredulous tone and noted: "Spain is now attempting to scale back the use of solar panels – the use of which they have encouraged and subsidized over the last decade – by imposing a tax on those who use the panels."

She added: "You get the feeling that government officials were out of ideas, stared up at the sky one day and thought, 'I’ve got it! We’ll tax the sun!'"

Australia's Business Spectator published a story on the same subject on Wednesday under the headline, "Spain's solar stupidity".

It said: "Imposed by decree, the reform aims to raise money for tackling a €26 billion debt to power producers which the state has built up over the years in regulating energy costs and prices."

The article quoted Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria who introduced the law as saying, "I support 'autoconsumo' [independent power generation by households]... but the power system has infrastructure, grids that the rest of us Spaniards who are in the system have to pay for. And we pay for it through our electricity bill."

Both articles also quoted Teresa Ribera, who served as secretary of state for the environment under the former Socialist administration.

She responded to Soria's statement, saying: "It's like asking cyclists to pay a levy to keep open the petrol stations they don't use."

Now a senior adviser to the Paris-based Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Ribera said the law was "illogical in terms of energy efficiency and costs" and "a serious invitation by the government for citizens to become anti-system."

Business Spectator interviewed people who plan to ignore the new law, including Sergio Pomar, chief executive of energy-efficient installation firm INEL.

He said: "If I spend €600 to install solar panels and get fined €6 million let the judge decide."

Private individuals who fail to hook their solar panels up to the national grid to be metered and taxed could face fines of up to €30 million ($40 million) under the new law.

Forbes magazine wrote: "It seems ludicrous."

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ebola outbreak
Spanish nurse may get Ebola all-clear Tuesday
Teresa Romero was recovering "very well" and and "surprises aside" would be able to live a normal life once given the all-clear, a spokesperson for her family said. File photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Spanish nurse may get Ebola all-clear Tuesday

Updated: Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero will be declared free of Ebola on Tuesday if further tests confirm Sunday's result which showed she no longer had the virus, health officials said on Monday. READ  

Football focus
Real Madrid star Bale in doubt for Barça clash
Welshman Gareth Bale could also miss the first Clásico against Barcelona on Saturday, Spanish press reported. File photo: Christof Stache/AFP

Real Madrid star Bale in doubt for Barça clash

Real Madrid look set to be without Gareth Bale for their Champions League trip to Liverpool on Wednesday after a scan revealed the Welshman has an abdominal injury. READ  

Crimewatch
Six police charged over drug addict's murder
According to the autopsy, the victim died due to a crushed spine and had flesh wounds caused near the time of death. File photo of a police car: Shutterstock

Six police charged over drug addict's murder

A judge believes six police officers from the Spanish city of Cartagena murdered a man who had called them for assistance, taking him to a remote cove and beating him before dumping his body in the sea. READ  

Spain's Ferrovial bids for Australian Transfield
Transfield have held open the door for further possible negotiations on a buyout by Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Spain's Ferrovial bids for Australian Transfield

Spanish construction giant Ferrovial offered €687 million ($875 million) to buy Australian firm Transfield Services, which rejected the bid as poor value, the companies said on Monday. READ  

Spanish Face of the Week
Exposed: student conman who fooled king
Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias was one of just 2,000 people at the proclamation party for Spain's new king Felipe (pictured) in June. File photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP

Exposed: student conman who fooled king

A 20-year-old student from an elite business school who was arrested last week on suspicion of swindling, forging documents and impersonating public officials cozied up to the cream of Spanish society, even managing to attend King Felipe VI’s proclamation. READ  

Wild weather
Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands
The autumn storm saw businesses and garages flooded while landslides caused road closures. Screen grab: YouTube/Agustin Cabeza

Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands

Heavy rain caused chaos in the Canary Island city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Sunday with one woman dying after she found herself trapped underneath a parked car during flash flooding. READ  

'We will pay off debt': Spain’s 'indignant' party
Pablo Iglesias had previously talked of cancelling Spain's public debt, but is now talking about an "orderly restructuring" of Spain’s financial burden. File photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

'We will pay off debt': Spain’s 'indignant' party

Spain's left-wing Podemos grouping on Sunday backed away from previous hints it would refuse to pay off Spain's public debt, in a bid to win more voters to its cause. READ  

Credit card scandal
Bank chauffeurs had 'black' Visa cards: report
Photo of a chauffeur: Shutterstock

Bank chauffeurs had 'black' Visa cards: report

A dozen chauffeurs working for two major Spanish banks were issued company credit cards so that drivers could make luxury purchases on the behalf of top executives, a Spanish newspaper reported on Monday, part of a scandal which has rocked Spain. READ  

Spanish medics leading Ebola fight in Europe
File Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP

Spanish medics leading Ebola fight in Europe

After a Spanish nurse became infected with Ebola the staff at Carlos III hospital have had to take a step into charted territory to fight against the deadly virus. READ  

Spain to train Iraqi troops to fight Islamic State
Iraqi Shiite men who have enlisted in the national forces to fight against Islamic State. AFP Photo/Haidar Hamdani

Spain to train Iraqi troops to fight Islamic State

Spain will begin training Iraqi forces later this year to battle Islamic State fighters but has ruled out taking part in ground operations in Syria, officials said Saturday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Where's the best place to live in Spain?
Travel
Top ten: great autumn getaways in Spain
National
The great Spanish cities quiz: take it now
National
Revealed: the cost of expat food in Spain
Politics
Catalan leader calls independence vote 'lite'
What's On
Games of Thrones star 'barred' from Seville film set
Health
Spanish nurse contracts Ebola in Madrid
National
Madrid starts fining users of Uber 'taxi' app
Education
Only one Spanish university makes world's top 200
What's On
What's on in Spain: October 2014
Politics
Spanish court suspends Catalan independence vote
National
Catalonia defies Madrid and calls independence vote
National
Spanish village swaps bulls for giant balls
Society
Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law
National
Spain's royal 'bad boy' to be sent to UK school
National
'This is a great time for entrepreneurs in Spain'
National
Loud porn movie scares locals into calling cops
National
'We'll axe Catalan autonomy but won't send in tanks'
National
Spain's Thatcher square defaced by 'Brits'
National
Top 10: best Spanish movies of all time
National
Gravedigger suspended for corpse photo gaffe
Society
Named: the best city to live in Spain
National
Catalonia's 'Diada': 5 things you need to know
Travel
Top ten amazing activities in Tenerife
National
Spain opens door to ban on burqas
Travel
Top ten: best bike rides in Spain
Travel
Spain to reopen 'world's most dangerous walk': The Camino del Rey
National
'Catalonia could be the shock Spain needs'
National
Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions
Sport
Think you know Spanish football? Try these amazing facts
International
Australia set to welcome young Spanish workers
Opinion
Is tourism destroying Barcelona?
Society
Fashion fail: Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids
National
Man hurt as friend swaps ice bucket for plane
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Politics
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
International
Spanish police mistake Morocco's king for people smuggler
What's On
What's on in Spain: September
Society
Miss Spain comes out of closet on Instagram
Travel
Top ten: Spain's best natural swimming pools
Property
'Dying' town flogs off land for €200 to woo new blood
National
Gays to blame for Spain's trillion euro debt: senator
Society
Spain's anti-rape guidelines: 1) Close your curtains
National
Woman on Madrid plane had 1.7kg coke in breasts
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,725
jobs available