SUN TAX IN SPAIN
WHAT IS IT
The term “impuesto al sol” or solar tax is a toll or tax that the authorities ask to pay for the costs of distribution and maintenance of the electricity network in Spain.
According to this law, those who use solar panels have to pay extra taxes, the so-called “impuesto al sol”. This must be paid for every kWh produced by the own installation. It is a tax that is almost half the kWh price paid by the consumer to the electricity company.
In addition to the payment of the corresponding tax, the self-consumer also has the obligation to give the surplus energy to the network free of charge. That is to say, everything that is not used will be given to the general network, without receiving anything in return.
In reality, this is a new tax that was devised in 2015 by the former minister of industry José Manuel Soria to raise some of the government’s outstanding debt to the energy producers.
This is justified by the fact that the electricity companies do not supply electricity to the users of solar panels and thus miss out on revenues while costs are incurred for the infrastructure.
“Solidarity with the other consumers”, the government said in 2015 when this law was passed.
In principle, all owners who have installed solar panels or a photovoltaic production system in their home or property should pay the solar tax. There are, however, some exceptions where one is exempted from the extra tax, such as installations with less than 10 kWh of electricity and users of solar panels in the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla. Users in the Balearic Islands also benefit from a reduction in the sun tax.
Owners of solar panels that are not connected to the normal electricity network, such as those living in nature or on a boat, do not have to pay the sun tax either because they do not use the fixed network or therefore do not incur any costs.
Despite all the commotion that has arisen around the sun tax, it is not paid by anyone in reality. The reason for this is that although the law on the “impuesto al sol” was adopted in 2015, the handling of it was sloppy because the ministerial decrees are lacking.No one has therefore received the notorious fines between 6,000 euros and 60 million euros and no one pays for the generation of their own energy. In addition, nobody knows in fact how they should possibly levy such a tax on energy consumption and this is simply not yet possible.
All in all it looks like a storm in a large glass of water and the sun tax is something to scare people. However, it is a scare-house that the Spanish government likes to keep warm because it is simply heavily influenced by the energy sector in the country (think of revolving door politics).
The more potential solar users think that extra taxes apply, the administration and application is difficult, the costs are high and there are high fines if you do not comply with the rules, the more people will refrain from using solar panels.
It remains strange, however, that in a country such as Spain where Europe has the most sun hours, nothing is done to use the free energy of the sun. It is even worse that the use of solar panels is not stimulated but is made difficult.