EU solar industry calls for action against retroactive subsidy changes

Concern is expressed in the letter, which was sent to Oettinger by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), over the increasing number of countries that have introduced, or are considering introducing retroactive support measures.

By creating investment risk, retroactive measures are "unnecessarily increasing the cost of capital for private operators. In the transition to a power sector that will require more CAPEX-intensive investments, retroactive measures will seriously endanger the achievement of 2020 targets," writes EPIA.

Included in the retroactive accusations are:

  • Bulgaria, which has recently announced the start of retroactive grid access payments;
  • Belgium, which announced a new grid fee for photovoltaic projects up to 10 kW;
  • the Czech Republic, which has introduced a raft of retroactive measures, including the removal of tax holidays;
  • France, which is planning a 20% FIT reduction to all installations over 100 kWp;
  • Greece, which has introduced a retroactive tax on revenue generated by renewable energy systems;
  • Italy, which has announced the start of the contribution of €0.05/kWh of energy self-produced and incentivized under the Conto Energia IV;
  • and Spain, which introduced hourly production limits on the FIT.

The letter ends by stating, "We therefore call on you to react strongly to these decisions and use, where appropriate, all the legal means the European Commission has to stop this trend, which threatens the climate of confidence needed in Europe to attract further investors. Once again, we call on the EC to forcefully discourage this kind of practice in the future – in particular through the upcoming guidance on national support schemes."

Read the full letter and view a background by EPIA document detailing retroactive and other measures taken in a number of European countries.