Spain introduces 6% energy tax

After nearly 2 months of speculation and negotiation, the Spanish Council of Ministers has approved a raft of measures aimed at reducing the multi-billion euro gap in the country’s public electricity bill, or tariff deficit.

As Energy Minister, José Manuel Soria disclosed today, Friday September 14, a new tax will be imposed on the generation of both conventional and renewable electricity produced in Spain. The new 6% levy will apply to the price electricity producers receive for selling their energy, including all public remuneration, like FITS.

Additionally, the Spanish government has introduced new charges for conventional energy sources, including for nuclear waste, the use of water at hydropower plants, and a differentiated "green cent" for the use of coal, gas and fuel-oil for the generation of electricity.

Through these measures, Soría hopes to reduce the tariff deficit for 2013 to zero. According to him, it increased to €24 billion in 2011 and, without action, would rocket to almost €50 billion in 2015.

Barcelona-based lawyer, Piet Holtrop who is helping hundreds of clients fighting against the previously announced retroactive solar FIT changes, called the new measures "discriminating". For lots of producers of solar power who had suffered under the retroactive changes, the new tax would probably be "the finishing stroke," he told pv magazine. However, he said the PV tax which had been previously discussed of 19% would have been much worse.

Edited by Becky Beetz