Spain Aims to Tax Renewable Energy
From Smart Planet
By Jennifer Riggins
Stumbling around in the dark on a cloudy, winter day, trying to care for his eight alpacas, five dogs, four kittens and three chickens, Alan Parks would be happy to simply flick on a light switch, but his off-grid existence is par for the course outside Montoro, Andalusia, about 15 kilometers from the nearest outlet. It’d cost him thousands of euros to get connected to mainstream electricity, and he’ll be damned if the Spanish government is going to start taxing the solar panels that keep him and his small farm going.
In a last-ditch desperate attempt to close its continually widening deficit gap, Spain looks to tax the one area of construction where it still holds a good reputation: renewable energy. And it’s not just targeting the big industries; it’s going after the little guys in the far reaches of the country, too.
“I assume they won’t be taxing me as I have power supply here and cannot afford to connect to the grid. If they want to tax me, they can connect me, and then I’ll happily pay the tax on the ‘leccy’ [electricity] bill,” Parks said. However, with the law’s lack of clarity, he might be taxed anyway.
Spain has always stood at the forefront of green energy. In 2007, the year before the start of the economic crisis, the Spanish government decided to invest in green energies by increasing the price it subsidized for solar energy to 12 times the price it subsidized conventional electricity, among other pro-green initiatives. Spanish energy giants Iberdrola, Endesa and Acciona worked furiously to infuse their grids with clean energy, and farmers, among others, jumped at the chance to take better advantage of their often arid and challenging terrain, by taking out loans to scatter their fields with the wind mills and solar panels you see across the Spanish countryside today.
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