Solar PV starts to freeze in Spain

“The investment paralysis in the solar PV industry is already affecting companies, which cannot plan their activities for the future further than six months”. This is what ASIF, the Spanish solar industry association, and APPA, the renewable energy confederation, in a press release.

The press release refers to the draft royal decree presented by the government, which provides no guarantees for the sector as from September 31st. The two associations have called for a new joint working committee meeting to design the legislation that the solar PV urgently needs.

Spain's Department of Industry (Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio) had the commitment to start this working committee after reviewing the assessment made by the country's energy commission (Comisión Nacional de la Energía, CNE) about the royal decree proposal (which received a negative review). Notwithstanding, one and a half months later, the industry keeps on waiting, more and more concerned about the regulatory uncertainty.

CNE's 31/2007 report, as well as the solar PV industry, rejected the Department of Industry's proposal and suggested a new one. On top of that, both ASIF and APPA have reminded the government that the new legislation should be published not too late, so that companies can plan their activities. This deadline is approaching, and the solar PV industry has been already slowing down, negatively affecting the potential of the industry.

Despite the fact that the expiry date for the current feed-in tariff is September 30th, those facilities which are already being built have a self-imposed deadline at the beginning of July, given the fact that bureaucracy delays could prevent the facilities from getting the grid connection approval on time. Therefore, the industry associations believe that the solar PV industry has a life expectancy below six months, not to mention the pressures that everyone has at the moment due to the upcoming general elections in Spain.

Meanwhile, the EU agreed on new renewable energy targets for Spain, at 20% of its energy use by 2020, which -according to the associations- requires a clearer panorama for the solar PV industry, so that uncertainty and legal loopholes do not contribute to the paralysis of the industry. For this reason, they are asking for the working committee to call for a new meeting ASAP.

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