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07 Feb 2017 6:53 PM by Chapirri Star rating in Maidstone, UK. 12 posts Send private message

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I read some reports indicating that a new tax in Spain was put in place with regard to electrical energy produced by domestic solar panels. Specifically, energy produced and consumed by individuals for their own use, irrespective of whether or not they are connected to the national grid, would be subject to this new tax. Is that the case and is the tax still in place?

2008: and the meltdown just keeps bubbling away...

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08 Feb 2017 5:55 PM by hbcproperties Star rating in Costa del Sol. 5 posts Send private message

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Yes it is true, it has been planned for years. It is ridiculous and challenged by various consumer groups, however the judges themselves have given it the go ahead - which probably says a lot about corruption in Spain. I would say: just don't tell them :-)

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08 Feb 2017 8:23 PM by Chapirri Star rating in Maidstone, UK. 12 posts Send private message

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Well, that's a bit of a fly in the ointment. Was looking at buying some land and building from scratch. Most of the plots that interest me would be completely off grid, so mainly dependent on solar.

Mmm, not sure about not declaring it; would remain as a liability from day one and not easy to keep off the radar with a new-build. Utterly bonkers idea; what the hell were they thinking of with that stunt? It's precisely the sort of action/attitude that's always worried me about moving to Spain, and here I am at square one, contending one of those examples of 'pura locura'. I've got no idea what the current level of taxation is, but that's academic because I've got no idea of where it might be headed in the future either. Those systems (together with battery storage) are not cheap and they have a shelf-life on them too. Mental.

Not being a drama queen, but it has seriously put my focus right back on to Portugal.

2008: and the meltdown just keeps bubbling away...

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09 Feb 2017 9:58 AM by baz1946 Star rating. 2265 posts Send private message

Spain’s solar association Union Espanola Fotovoltaica (UNEF) reports a majority of members in the Spanish parliament have signed an agreement removing a controversial Royal Decree against self-consumption of solar energy, also known as the ‘sun tax.’ The agreement has been made within 100 days of a new government being formed.

lthough Spain has not formed a government following general elections last year, 227 members of parliament agreed last week to remove negative policies against solar self-consumption should a majority government be formed out of the signatories of the agreement.

According to PV-Tech, the conservative Partido Popular party, which backs policies against solar self-consumption, also called the ‘sun tax’ on energy produced and consumed without feeding the grid, currently has just 120 seats.

José Donoso, UNEF general director, has said this current agreement needs to be approved formally in parliament, but Spain is currently in a “complicated” political situation and it is unclear if a government will be formed soon or if new general elections will have to take place in June.

If a government is formed by signatories of this agreement, the parties have agreed to approve removing the ‘sun tax’ within 100 days, and will approve a net metering system. It is also hoped these parties will simplify the administrative policies for solar.

Last June, UNEF said a “sun tax” would make solar uneconomical even for self-consumption, adding net-metering policies found in most other Mediterranean countries. Mediterranean countries with net metering include Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus.

Daniel Pérez, attorney at Holtrop S.L.P, the firm which wrote the new agreement document, said it is critical for owners of existing installations for the changes to come in by 10 April.

“The Royal Decree was approved on 10 October and it ruled that existing installations have six months (up to 10 April) to adapt to the new norm. If the Royal Decree is not removed before 10 April, owners of existing installations will have to make costly adaptations such as including a meter and connecting to the grid. New installations would not be affected by the deadline as they are likely to be installed with the necessary technical specifications of the decree anyway.”

Hi. This is from 2016, a little outdated maybe but it might help.

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09 Feb 2017 10:00 AM by hbcproperties Star rating in Costa del Sol. 5 posts Send private message

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Who can blame you. At the beginning of the millenium Spain offered solar contracts to producers (like most European countries) with a 20-year deal etc. I guess the electricity companies bribed enough politicians/judges so that the contracts were declared null after ... 7 years by Aznar if I'm not mistaken. It seems that you know enough about solar to know that you break even at 8 years.... so many thankful producers there who fell for the "rule of law" fable....

Is Portugal not similar?

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09 Feb 2017 3:52 PM by Chapirri Star rating in Maidstone, UK. 12 posts Send private message

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Thanks for the replies, folks. My searching also only turned up details from early/mid 2016 and I guess the election circus last year was kicking issues like this into the long grass. It's a real shame in a way because Spain has been streets ahead in Europe with development of solar-renewable, both at domestic and national levels.

I'm sure they have reasons that extend beyond the perennial attitudes that persist there, and I'm guessing that one of the major issues will be protection of Endesa, et al., which I really can understand, but some of the [permissable] new-builds would never have the option of connecting to the grid based on proximity and as such the production/consumption is entirely private. It's like saying you can be taxed for the air that you breath! Is there any tax on water drawn from boreholes tapping into the local water table?, because that would at least make some kind of sense.

Ten years ago, Portugal's transmission lines were also owned by private power companies that had no interest in investing in renewables because using the technology would have meant radical changes in the grid infrastructure, increasing costs to industry.

To get around this, the government bought the lines, and began adapting the grid, including more flexibility and better connections in remote areas to allow the production and distribution of electricity from small generators, such as domestic solar panels. There was also a combination of admirable incentives, including the introduction of feed-in tariffs... (2010 article in The Guardian by Syma Tariq)

Cannot find anything specifically related to energy-generation tax in Portugal currently, but they may have their own brand of lunacy coming into effect soon: -

According to Law Decree 41 of 2016, published last week, a good view and a south-facing house could see homeowners face substantial increases in their council tax bills, the English-language Portugal News reports. Homes with nice views and which maximise solar exposure could be subject to an increase in council tax rates of up to 20%. (Dan Buckley, The Irish Examiner, Oct 2016).


2008: and the meltdown just keeps bubbling away...

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09 Feb 2017 5:17 PM by GarySFBCN Star rating. 28 posts Send private message

This is a several years long issue that has so many twists and turns that it is difficult to keep up.  At one point, electricty inspectors could barge into one's home to look for illegal solar energy installations without a judge's approval. 

That was enough to dissaude me from putting panels on my home.  Maybe when more reasonable laws are enacted I will consider having them installed.

At one time, home completely off the grid were not affected by the laws, but I'm not sure if that is still true.


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11 Feb 2017 12:21 PM by Poedoe Star rating in Berkshire, England. 83 posts Send private message

This news regarding a new tax on the Solar Energy systems which costs thousands to install, takes the joy out of using our Savings to have solar Panels installed. Just Highway Robbery. 

I am very disapointed that again we are being Taxes again when helping saving the Planet.


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11 Feb 2017 1:55 PM by tonyl Star rating in Bristol and Águilas,.... 7 posts Send private message

It's easy for us to forget the UK used to be like this before deregulation. The Central Electricity Generating Board had a statutory monopoly on electricity generation. IIRC, companies (and individuals) who had a backup generator to tide them through power cuts had to pay the CEGB for any electricity they generated. (Don't know how they actually enforced that though.)

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11 Feb 2017 2:19 PM by Chapirri Star rating in Maidstone, UK. 12 posts Send private message

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Gary/Poedoe, yes I entirely agree. I think maybe the problem is that in terms of Renewables, governments/agencies everywhere are scrabbling to get their heads around it with regard to policy. I can understand that, but it still leaves a sour taste. Even here in the UK, there have been numerous changes in terms of subsidies/no subsidies and feed-in-tariff rates, etc. Some people who made original investments may now be regretting it. Indeed, there are some new problems emerging which I don't think anyone foresaw: -

Britain will have too much electricity this summer due to the growth in wind and solar farms, National Grid has forecast, warning it could be forced to issue unprecedented emergency orders to power plants to switch off.

Businesses will also be paid to shift their power demand to times when there is surplus electricity, as the UK energy system struggles to cope with the huge expansion in subsidised renewable power.

National Grid, which is responsible for balancing Britain’s power supply and demand, warned that operating the system at times of low demand was “becoming increasingly challenging”, in part due to the growth of “intermittent power capacity” such as wind and solar farms. (Telegraph, Apr 2016, Emily Gosden).

That problem is repeated in many other markets, globally. It would seem that the next major area for development in renewables is not the production itself, rather than the means of storage via next generation batteries. At least we're heading in the right direction.

Portugal has hit a significant milestone in its bid to become entirely reliant on renewable energy sources after running for 107 hours without using any fossil fuels. 

From 6.45am on Saturday 7 May until 5.45pm on Wednesday 11 May [2016] the country used sustainable electricity alone.

Portugal, which previously relied heavily on coal and natural gas, has made a considerable effort to increase its use of solar, wind and hydro power in recent years.

Of course, none of this really has anything to do with Mariano's mob deciding to try and tax the conversion of free sunshine into free energy for private use, but I'd love to see what the ECJ made of it if an individual challenged the Spanish govt on a legal basis in the event.

2008: and the meltdown just keeps bubbling away...

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11 Feb 2017 4:28 PM by Chapirri Star rating in Maidstone, UK. 12 posts Send private message

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Tony, that's one of the problems I have with all this, though. National energy production in Spain is liberalised, isn't it? Majority ownership of Endesa is by Enel, in Italy. I could entirely understand it if govt were trying to protect a state enterprise during a transitional period, and I can equally understand a certain level of protectionism for private enterprise that may also be providing investment in infrastructure for national distribution (if that's the case). But some of the original policy intent seemed to be formulated to benefit private sector interests at the cost of public citizens. The intent behind the original policy proposals is what I'm suspicious of and that is what has rattled my cage. 

2008: and the meltdown just keeps bubbling away...

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12 Feb 2017 4:08 PM by paulsevilla Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

I have worked on energy technical and poicy issues in Spain and in the EU, As far as I recall, (and I may be wrong)  I saw in the Spanish Press this law was pushed through by a minister who was given a job on the board of Endesa ( as well as rewards to over 30 MPs who supported him). The tax is punitive (1400 euros/yr, as  far as I recall). So, whoever commented on corruption may well be right.

Don´t be tempted to try and get away with it. Saprona (Guardia Civil division responsible for envornmental regulation) confiscated the equipment and took the owner to court. They now use satellite photography (and I think maybe drones, now) to check unlicenced building. It will pick up large PV panels.

The reason: most of these energy giants have an inflexible business plan and face a new challaneges. Two problems: They are facing much of their production now being solar or wind, which are both variable, and large scale storage is not available. This means they have to keep current power plants (coal, nuclear, gas) on standby for days when the renewables are not supplying enough, which is costly. They also have to maintain the supply lines. Second: Add to this, micro scale production in Spain (home generating systems) adds to the problems, and could reduce income significantly. The latest thinking on electricity storage is also small scale units, epecially electric/hybrid cars. So much so that Elon Musk (Tesla) is converting the car battery technology for use in households, which could be a major breakthrough.

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12 Feb 2017 5:46 PM by Poedoe Star rating in Berkshire, England. 83 posts Send private message

Such a pity the Guardia Civil dont give a dam about the way so many Builders, Lawyers, Notarys & Agents in Spain are  and have conned so many purchasers of Property in Spain, We bought in 2007, Completed in 2008 and still wait for the local council and Electric Company to allow us to have our personal Meters.

Long story like may others have we have paid through the nose to the Builder who ceased to trade under the umbrella we purchased. Paid €900 for the meters to be installed. 9 years later still no Personal Meter, We are on the community meter which means we are paying €80 or €100 a month all year round, which should be approx €30 a month. waiting for the FOL to be granted to be able to live in Spain and be Legal.  We have paid between the few owners for the debts of the Builder and the Nationals that rented from he Builder & used the Utilities knocking up Bills of thousands, To keep the utility services working we had and still have no other choice.




This message was last edited by Poedoe on 12/02/2017.


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12 Feb 2017 6:13 PM by Chapirri Star rating in Maidstone, UK. 12 posts Send private message

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Yes, Tesla battery technology; that was what I read recently but could not recall the details. 

I was rather hoping that Spain would have moved forward by now and ditched some of the old cultural habits, but looking at some of these threads makes me think otherwise, unfortunately.

2008: and the meltdown just keeps bubbling away...

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14 Feb 2017 3:37 PM by derek55 Star rating in Carsares Costa---Bir.... 51 posts Send private message

There are a few houses in our community that have bypassed the meters and have had electric gratis for years without any problem. I actually informed Endesa because I was concerned about possible fire hazard and or causing problems with supplies. They were not interested


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14 Feb 2017 8:14 PM by Elsietanner Star rating in Alicante & New York. 164 posts Send private message

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How disappointing for you.


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15 Feb 2017 12:52 AM by Chapirri Star rating in Maidstone, UK. 12 posts Send private message

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Mind you Derek, given the fun-and-games Poedoe described in his last post it's no surprise that people decide to take matters into their own hands.

2008: and the meltdown just keeps bubbling away...

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15 Feb 2017 6:55 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

Poedoe:    Such a pity the Guardia Civil dont give a damn

In Spain it is not the police (Guardia or National) but the courts which make the decision whether or not  to prosecute cases.  

In Spain one can go directly to a court (Juzgados de Primera Instancia) and make a crime report (Denuncia). The courts should have interpreters to assist those who do not speak Spanish.

In complex cases that is often the best way to proceed.

By coincidence only yesterday I was present when a person (non-Spanish) attended the National Police was so advised by an inspector working in the crime reports office.


This message was last edited by johnzx on 15/02/2017.

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15 Feb 2017 9:35 AM by baz1946 Star rating. 2265 posts Send private message

I have seen a good few new properties being built in Spain with what I presume are solar water heaters on the roof,  not gone any further with checking them out so not to sure, the large round stainless steel types with a solar panel leading up to them, are these exempt from this so called tax because they only heat water, or are they taxed because they are a form of solar energy.

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15 Feb 2017 10:15 AM by hbcproperties Star rating in Costa del Sol. 5 posts Send private message

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Hi paulsevilla, it was me comenting on corruption, I think it's plain to see in matters non-solar too. But Spanish voters should never ever complain ever again because we all know about the corruption, it's all been reported on, the guilty parties exposed .... and they still vote for them!! I could write a novel and it wouldn't be such fiction, can't make it up. So the solar law issue is the least of the rotten apples.


But I sincerely doubt that Portugal or Italy are different, I have lived/dealt with both, but things might have changed since then.

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