What is happening in Europe with the Sun Tax and Self-consumption?

These are times of war for self-consumption and the sun tax in the European Parliament. In this post we are going to analyze the current situation in Brussels. Each of the parties has put the cards on the table and because the negotiation will be three-way, in SotySolar we dare not predict who will be the winner.

What do each of the parties say in terms of energy?

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The bodies that must decide before the end of 2018 the guidelines to follow in energy and self-consumption are 3: the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council

The European Parliament

The European Parliament with the socialist MEP José Blanco as spearhead approved the Renewables Directive where the most relevant aspect for photovoltaic self-consumption was the prohibition of the ” sun tax “. It was a reason for celebration. Perhaps precipitated because there is still a long way to go.

In this voting, only the Popular Party opposed, but still they have not given up in their eagerness to avoid the sustainable energy development by means of solar energy in our country.

The European Council

The European Council is a body made up of the 28 energy ministers of the member countries. The Spanish representative, is Álvaro Nadal, firm defender of the current regulations on self – consumption . As explained, later in the section “What does the Popular Party intend for Self-consumption and the Sun Tax?” The position of the Council is aligned with the Popular Party.

The Council’s position is really important. The States fund the initiatives proposed by the council, but not all is lost.

The European Commission

The third leg is the European Commission, and its position is not clear. The head of the European Commission is the Spanish politician Miguel Arias Cañete who is the Commissioner of Energy and Action against Climate Change. Your opinion is decisive worldwide. It occupies the 22nd position in the list of the 100 influencers of the energy sector according to the document ” The Future of Energy ” presented by the consultant Onalytica.

Everyone knows that Cañete belongs to the Popular Party but belongs to the branch of Agriculture and Environment, a great driver in the fight against climate change. Arias Cañete wants to leave the matter closed before summer to avoid that the decision-making falls into the hands of another.

What is the Popular Party trying to achieve with Self-consumption and Sun Tax?

Image result for sun taxOur government wants the homes, neighborhood communities and SMEs to have the same responsibilities as the energy lobby in our country. For this, they argue that since prosumers are going to participate actively in the electricity market and generate their own energy, consume it or sell it, there must be a certain equality with the big electricity companies so that everyone can play under the same rules of the game, that in his opinion “providing exemptions to some market participants means discriminating against others, which fundamentally undermines the structure of the market, increases costs for consumers and creates uncertainty for investors”. It seems a very reasonable argument but it is not like that.

Simply, at present, there is no equality between a large company and a small local consumer . For small producers of renewable energy in general, and solar self-consumption in particular, such as vineyards, schools or hospitals, administrative and financial burdens are a strong disincentive to participate in the production of green and clean energy .

To make it easier to understand, the Popular Party wants small consumers to pay a tax on the sun or toll of support for the energy they produce with their self-consumption installation , so that the electricity companies do not reduce their income. However, traditional power plants (nuclear, gas and coal) self-consume 8% of all the energy they produce, but do not pay any toll. Why will it be?

On the other hand, the Government affirms that the economic impact of the non-application of the tax would be astronomical but in reality it supposes 2 million € for every 100 MW installed, -in 2017, 135 MW of photovoltaic solar were installed-. Returning to the previous argument, if the Government charged this tax to the traditional power plants would mean an extra income of 230 million € for their coffers.

What will happen to the sun tax, self-consumption and the energy directive?

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Let’s recap The European Council is in favor of the ” sun tax ” and the European Parliament against, so the key figure can be Arias Cañete.

The work of this will be very complicated as it will have to deal with Moncloa but on the other hand it can go down in history as the person responsible for the biggest change in energy policy of our times. Loyalty without meaning or being remembered for posterity?

As a last point add that, recently, Arias Cañete has been positioned against Nadal and his own party to applaud the decision of the power plants to close the thermal power plants . According to what has been said, achieving the objectives of Paris requires the contribution of all the participating agents and the implementation of a European regulation that facilitates the transition towards clean energy and self-consumption.

In SotySolar we do not dare to predict the future, much less in these convulsive times in which we live. We will continue fighting for a sustainable world without taxes, but when the wind blows against the tide, we will continue, because for many taxes, taxes, tolls or whatever you want to call it, THE SELF-CONSUMPTION IS ALREADY PROFITABLE .