Solar companies lose the 1st international legal ruling over Spanish feed-in tariff cuts

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The first international lawsuit over the cuts to compensation for PV installations in Spain has resulted in a ruling against the companies that filed the suit, according to a statement by the Spanish Ministry of Industry.

Dutch company Charanne B.V. and Luxembourg’s Construction Investments S.A.R.L. had filed suit agains the King of Spain for regulatory changes in 2010 by the government through which compensation was significantly reduced for PV installations. RDL 14/2010 limited the number of hours that solar installations are paid through the feed-in tariff.

Charanne and Construction Investments were shareholders of Spain’s T-Solar. Spanish companies cannot directly sue the government in an international tribunal.

According to the Ministry, the Court of Arbitration in Madrid has ruled that the government did not violate any legitimate expectation under international law. The legal basis for the suit was the treaty of the energy charter.

Additionally, the court ruled that the companies which filed suit must pay roughly €1.2 million for the Spanish state’s legal costs and administrative expenses.

Recently, Spain’s Supreme Tribunal also ruled against solar companies which called for compensation for regulatory changes in 2010.

Other international lawsuits against Spain for the cuts to the renewable energy sector are still in progress.

Article translated by Christian Roselund. For the original in Spanish, please see the pv magazine LatinoAmérica website.