PV premiums fall by 60% in Spain

Total payable premiums dropped from €307 million in August to €121 million in September, as a consequence of the annual limits enforced by Royal Decree Law (RD-L) 14/2010, which established urgent measures to correct the tariff deficit in Spain’s electricity sector in 2010.

Overall, RD-L 14/2010 set the annual ceiling value for photovoltaic generation premiums at 1,250 hours for fixed installations and 2,367 hours for fixed installations with two-axis tracking. From the moment these limits are reached, photovoltaic plants are eligible to receive only the electricity market price.

These limits were achieved by the most favorably performing installations already in August, while more than half of the total photovoltaic parks in Spain reached it in September. The limits were reached earlier than in 2011, due to higher radiation levels this year, UNEF explained in a statement released.

The limits introduced by RD-L 14/2010 lowered revenues of photovoltaic systems by around 30% compared to an earlier remuneration scheme introduced by Royal Decree 661/2007 (which covered around 80% of the total photovoltaic parks) and by around 10% from a remuneration scheme introduced by Royal Decree 1578/2008 (which was applicable for the remaining 20% of Spain’s installations).

This year Spain’s photovoltaic sector is expected to collect a similar volume of premiums to 2011, due to the established ceiling on the premiums and the paralysis of the country’s photovoltaic market.

According to the December 2011 issue of the monthly bulletin on premiums, incentives and complementary payments to energy generation installations in the so-called special regime – published by Spain’s National Energy Commission (CEN) – premiums paid to photovoltaic generators totaled €2.39 billion between last January to December.

Meanwhile, the latest issue of the same CEN bulletin revealed that the total amount of premiums paid to photovoltaic generators in the first nine months of 2012 amounted to €2.51 billion.

Edited by Becky Beetz.