Sweden to effectively scrap solar energy tax: reports

The center-left government of Sweden announced on Monday that it is planning to row back on a recently introduced solar energy tax following heavy criticism from both the opposition and Swedish environmentalists.

Although the tax cannot be totally abolished due to "technical reasons", Sweden’s finance minister Magdalena Andersson confirmed that it would be slashed by 98% next year, reported Reuters.

The solar tax does not affect private residences given that it only applies to installations of 255 kW and above. However, commercial rooftop solar has been growing in Sweden and has long been seen as one of the country’s best routes towards wider PV adoption.

Hence, opposition to the tax, introduced earlier this year, was vocal among green groups despite Sweden’s government being comprised of the Greens and the Social Democrats.

The cut in the tax "allows for rapid investments in solar energy, while our long-term ambition is to completely remove the tax on solar electricity," said Andersson in a statement.

In the summer, the coalition government sidled with the remaining leading parties in Sweden to commit to a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.

At the time, the law was amended on July 1 to exempt small-scale solar customers from the solar tax. Now it appears that the impact of such a tax will be reduced to almost nothing, with the hope being that Sweden’s solar sector – which is almost all based in self-consumption – can duly grow and play a role in helping the nation meet its clean energy goal.

The Swedish Solar Association recently told pv magazine that its aim is for PV to account for 10% of the country’s 100% renewable goal.