The Government of Spain, via Royal Decree-Law, has announced that it lifts the sun tax for installations exceeding 10 kW. The decision is taken within the framework of the urgent measures adopted by the last Council of Ministers, held on Friday, in response to the need to activate “urgently and unavoidably” the transition towards a clean and accessible energy model for the whole of the citizenship.
With this Royal Decree-Law, the Executive intends to eliminate a number of regulatory barriers that, up to now, have “hindered and discouraged” the implementation of electric self-consumption in Spain. The new regulation is based on three principles: the compulsory bureaucratic and technical procedures are simplified, as is the entry in a registry applicable to installations not exceeding 100 kilowatts; the right to self-consumption shared by one or several consumers is recognized, thus enabling economies of scale to be harnessed; and the right to self-consumption of electric power exempt from tolls or charges is recognized.
The burden on the self-consumer for the energy generated and consumed in its own installation is therefore lifted in this way, ultimately derogating the sun tax.
In this new scenario, the development of self-consumption now guarantees the consumers an access to cheaper alternatives that respect the limits of the planet, help reduce the needs of the electricity grid, generate greater energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, it is an activity generating employment linked to the ecological transition, as has already been demonstrated in countries around us.
UNEF supports this shift in energy policy
The Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) has recalled that it has been “defending a self-consumption regulation free of technical, administrative or economical barriers to ensure that consumers and society enjoy the social, environmental and economic benefits that self-consumption provides” for seven years.
In addition, UNEF has welcomed that the RDL also includes “vigorous action to facilitate the implementation of self-consumption, such as the definition of a simplified administrative procedure that is aligned to the facilities characteristics, in addition to adopting the sanctioning regime according to the true impact of self-consumption on the electrical system “. In this sense, UNEF noted that the administrative regime was the biggest obstacle imposed on self-consumption.
The sun tax is lifted to the the satisfaction of companies
Contigo Energía, a subsidiary of Gesternova, is pleased that with the decree recently approved in the Council of Ministers, the conditions for both citizens and companies to produce their own energy using solar panels, or other renewable technologies, and therefore reduce their electricity bill, have been significantly improved.
“In the case of the companies, a new scenario emerges as a result of the lift of the sun tax that was applied to the installations exceeding 10 kW, which will bring even more profitability to their investments. Regarding neighborhood communities, cooperatives and other collectives, a door opens with infinite possibilities to finally recognize shared self-consumption as an energy efficiency solution “, Javier Avendaño CEO of Contigo Energía said.
Another Spanish company in the renewable technologies sector, specializing in industrial self-consumption and distributed generation is Norvento, which has also made a statement regarding the Government’s announcement. Norvento´s commercial director, Doctor in Electrical Engineering, Manuel Pinilla, has welcomed this decision, “because it involves the elimination of a significant barrier not only for our business in photovoltaics, but for the rest of renewable technologies with which we work, especially wind and biogas, which are also playing an increasingly important role for industrial self-consumption “, Pinilla concludes.
The generation tax and the green cent are discontinued
As a bold measure against the rise in the price of electricity experienced in recent months, the Royal Decree-Law incorporates two provisions related to tax regulations with the aim of directly moderating the evolution of prices in the wholesale market of electricity.
In the first place, the 7% tax on electricity generation, approved in 2012, is discontinued for six months. Secondly, an exemption is introduced in the Special Tax on Hydrocarbons to deactivate the so-called green cent. Devised to discourage the use of energy sources linked to hydrocarbons, this tax sends out an opposite signal to the market: the cent is passed on to the final prices of electricity while technologies such as gas contribute to fix the prices in the wholesale market.