Spain Learns That Solar Really, Really Needs Government Handouts

Apparently, without government money, solar power might not even be able to power its own life support

The Spanish government has launched a new regulatory framework that will result in subsidized tariffs for ground-mounted solar energy projects drop 45% this year, killing future investment in the trade, which industry leaders expect will be frozen in the next few years.

“We expect new ground-mounted projects will be paralyzed because there won’t be any new investments,” says Tomas Diaz, communications director of a trade lobby Asociación de la Industria Fotovoltaica (ASIF). “Last year, many projects were cancelled. Banks did not provide financing because of the regulatory uncertainty and electricity companies’ growing campaign against the sector,” he said, adding that utilities are working to bolster subsidies for their own renewable projects, most of which involve wind power.

All the funky language in the article boils down to

Spain has needed to curb spending as it was hit with one of the biggest recessions ever to rock the country in its long history. The government wants to cut renewable subsidies, which reportedly cost public coffers €6.2bn last year. Of this, €3bn went to the solar power industry, which meets just 2% of Spain’s power needs, according to government representatives. Moreover, there are claims that the industry has engaged in “fraudulent” management of state subsidies, which it disputes.

Without government money to prop the industry up, private investors and companies are starting to bail. Now, don’t get me wrong, I personally support the use of solar, among other alternative methods I support, yet, apparently, without massive amounts of government expenditure, it can barely survive. 75,000 “green jobs” have been lost in the solar sector. So, what to do?

The industry is so frustrated that it has sued Spain’s government, arguing that that new regulation is way too harsh and even “unconstitutional” as the tariff cuts are expected to apply to both new and existing projects, meaning the industry may have to make retroactive payments.

Suing because the government is not giving money they don’t have. Anyone doubt that the USA is on the same path?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach. sit back and Relax. we’ll dRive!

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