2 Jun, 2015 @ 09:00
1 min read

Expat writer Chris Stewart slams Spain’s solar power regulation plans

stewart energy spanish property insight
Chris Stewart at his organic farm
Chris Stewart at his organic farm
Chris Stewart at his organic farm

EXPAT writer Chris Stewart has slammed draft regulations that would make solar power generation at home completely unaffordable for all but Spain’s richest inhabitants.

Solar power exclusively heats and powers the writer’s Alpujarras farm thanks to Andalucia’s 320 days of sunshine a year.

But if new government regulations are passed, tariffs will be 27% higher for those generating energy at home.

“I am appalled by the cynicism, hypocrisy and downright dishonesty of this act by the government, but I have lost the capacity to be surprised by them,” Stewart told property expert Mark Stucklin.

And Spanish union UNEF claims the average consumer would need 31 years to get back the investment needed to install their own system, with fines of up to €60 million for non-regulation installations.

UNEF accused the government of ‘closing all doors to energy self-sufficiency’.

Iona Napier

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  1. Can’t get my head round this. How will the tax-man be able to measure the amount of energy generated by solar panels if a generating unit isn’t connected to the grid?
    No doubt the Spanish ingenuity for a rip-off will find a way. Never mind Chris, what with the rooting wild hogs and the rooting wild tax-man, you should be able to get another book out of it.
    Buena suerte.

  2. @Stefanjo – From what I understand, this will not be a tax per se, but rather a tariff supplement on mains electricity drawn by people who have both home renewables and a grid connection. It is a completely arse-about-face policy in my view, blatantly aimed at clawing back money from people who generate most of their own renewable energy, but have a grid connection to cover night-time use (if they can’t afford energy storage – i.e. penalising the poor) and to cover peaks and troughs.

    In rural areas (where grid costs relative to revenue yield are already lowest) it’s just going to make energy storage (or even a diesel genset + PV) more attractive, and lead to anyone who can getting off the mains grid entirely.

    I wonder if this will apply to commercial and industrial customers as well? If so, I can see this push some business under, who have invested PV to reduce their utility charges, and now find themselves hit with far higher tariffs, and still repaying the initial cost of PV installation.

  3. That was my point Mr. Goat. The article states that Chris Stewart’s gaff is powered exclusively by alternative energy. If I remember correctly from his books, his place is too remote to sensibly be connected to the grid. Which is why I wondered how the dirty dogs could rip him off without knowing his usage.

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