Storage

Spain Makes Changes to Solar Tariff

After many nerve-wracking weeks for Spain’s solar industry, the Spanish government has finally decided on changes to the country’s feed-in tariff that seem to satisfy all parties. The changes were made because of concerns over unsustainable market growth.

Government officials and industry representatives have settled on a 500-megawatt (MW) cap for 2009, a far higher level than the 300-MW cap proposed this summer. Tariff levels were reduced as well, but are more favorable than the rate cuts initially proposed.

The country’s solar feed-in tariffs are now set at €0.32-0.34 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity from roof-mounted systems and €0.32 [US $0.46] per kWh of electricity from ground-based systems. The cap and the reduced tariffs will result in a significant scale-back of the Spanish solar market over the next two years.

Industry representatives initially opposed any changes to the tariff. When it became clear that the Spanish government was going to modify the program, contentious negotiations over the scale of those modifications followed. While Spain’s major renewable energy trade groups don’t agree with all the changes, they have expressed their satisfaction with the final outcome compared with the original proposals.

Now that the market has regained some clarity after many messy months of speculation, the industry is hoping to move forward and maintain Spain’s leadership in solar.