• Spain's news in English
 

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

Steve Tallantyre · 21 Aug 2013, 14:27

Published: 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
15 held in Spain for smuggling Moroccan migrants on jet skis
A picture taken by Spanish Guardia Civil shows jet skis parked after being seized by the police off the coast of Tarifa. Photo: AFP/Spanish Guardia Civil

15 held in Spain for smuggling Moroccan migrants on jet skis

1 hour ago

Fifteen people were arrested this month in Spain for smuggling Moroccan migrants into the country on water scooters, authorities said on Saturday, terming it a "very dangerous practice."

Spanish police hunt for Moroccan hashish in the Strait of Gibraltar
Packs of hashish seized by the Spanish police in 2013. Photo: AFP/Handout Spanish police

Spanish police hunt for Moroccan hashish in the Strait of Gibraltar

1 day ago

Morocco has become the world’s top producer and exporter of hashish over the past decades and, with just 14 kilometres separating northern Morocco from Spain’s southern Andalucia region, Spanish police have their work cut to stem the flow of illegal drugs.

Astronomers on Quixotic quest to immortalize Cervantes with a star
The star currently known as Mu Arae and author Miguel de Cervantes. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Astronomers on Quixotic quest to immortalize Cervantes with a star

1 day ago

Some celebrities get the honour of having their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But a group of Spanish astronomers have something more cosmic in mind for their own literary star.

Catalan ruling party hit by graft probe ahead of September election
Police arrive at the headquarters of CatDem in Barcelona. Photo: Josep Lago / AFP

Catalan ruling party hit by graft probe ahead of September election

1 day ago

An anti-corruption operation targeted Catalonia's ruling CDC party on Friday, tainting a separatist coalition that wants the wealthy region to secede from Spain if it wins a regional election next month.

What's on in Spain: Sept 2015
Bilbao will host the Red Bull Extreme Cliff Diving Finale. Photo: Diego Jambrina / Flickr

What's on in Spain: Sept 2015

1 day ago

From Roman battle re-enactments, to music festivals to cliff diving, there are lots of great events happening in Spain this September.

Travel chaos threat as September strikes called at Spanish airports
The strikes will take place across Spain on four days in September

Travel chaos threat as September strikes called at Spanish airports

1 day ago

Spanish airport workers have called a series of strikes for September threatening to cause significant delays for holidaymakers.

Emotional homecoming for granny jailed for refusal to demolish home
Photo: Screenshot from RTVE broadcast.

Emotional homecoming for granny jailed for refusal to demolish home

1 day ago

A grandmother who was sent to prison for refusing to see her family made homeless has been released after becoming a cause celebre and winning sympathy across Spain.

Fake traffic police arrested for robbing tourists on Costa Blanca
The uniforms used by the suspects to allegedly rob tourists in fake traffic stops. Photo: Alicante Civil Guard.

Fake traffic police arrested for robbing tourists on Costa Blanca

2 days ago

The Spanish Civil Guard arrested two men who posed as cops to carry out at least twenty robberies by pulling unsuspecting tourists over on 'routine traffic checks'.

Madrid terrorist suspect ran Isis cell planning massacres in Spain
The suspected jihadist was arrested in Madrid on Tuesday. Photo: Interior Ministry

Madrid terrorist suspect ran Isis cell planning massacres in Spain

2 days ago

A 26-year-old who called himself "Salami Jihadi" is accused of running an Islamic State recruitment network that wanted to "carry out massacres and create a climate of mass panic and instability" in Spain.

Barcelona draws up battle lines to curb Airbnb type tourism boom
Screenshot from an Airbnb YouTube advert

Barcelona draws up battle lines to curb Airbnb type tourism boom

2 days ago

Barcelona's new mayor is drawing up the battle lines in a bid to crackdown on uncontrolled tourism but Airbnb insists that there is a simple solution.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Hermit wanted for remote hilltop shrine. The immoral need not apply
National
Fury as archaeological site ruined and replaced with picnic table
National
‘I should be so lucky’: The Syrian refugee chasing his dream in Spain
National
Pensioner turns priceless fresco into 'Monkey Jesus': The Opera
Travel
Off the beaten track: Fourteen of the best kept travel secrets in Spain
Travel
Away from the hordes: Spain's ten most gorgeous seaside towns
National
Looking for a holiday romance? Come to Spain
National
Battle of the fizz: Cava takes on champagne
National
The ten most repressive points of Spain's gag law
National
Fireman fired for using hose to fill his own pool
National
What recovery? Spanish reject economic 'spin'
Hottest July ever: Spain sizzled in record month
Travel
13 delicious reasons to be a vegetarian in Spain
Travel
Eight of the most crazily cool hotels in Spain
Travel
What's on in Spain: August 2015
National
Urban allotments thrive in crisis-hit Spain
Features
10 facts you didn't know about Spanish wine
National
Best place to commute to London? It's Madrid
National
Gazpacho: Spaniards are going crazy for cold soup
Travel
Seven silly TripAdvisor comments about Spain
Politics
Hot or not? Politicans in Spain are rated on looks
National
Spanish town gives pets equal rights as citizens
National
VIDEO: Seagull steals camera for amazing bird's eye selfie
National
Spanish town brings in compulsory siesta law
National
Hero cops save newborn baby dumped in trash
National
Top 10 Spanish treats to keep you cool in summer
National
Catholic group calls for sex-segregated beaches
National
Spanish chef dumps Trump over racist slurs
National
Madrid mayor to rid city of dictator Franco
National
The survivor's guide to running with the bulls
National
The ten most repressive points of Spain's gag law
National
Spain celebrates ten years of gay marriage
Travel
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Woof! The top ten dog-friendly beaches in Spain
National
Driver fined €80 for biting fingernails at the wheel
National
Castle for sale, one-time pad of mad queen, €15 million
National
And the most beautiful plaza in Spain is...?
Politics
Spanish mayor's rogue little toes go viral
Top that! Italy snatches pizza title from Spain
National
Diphtheria is 'Russian roulette with real bullets'
Politics
French PM takes flak for taking his kids on state jet to footy final
National
Spain's little 'prince' shamed for racist rant
National
Spain world's second best for work-life balance
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

3,043
jobs available