Solar Installations Manipulated in Spain, Investigations Show
Spanish newspaper El Mundo published yesterday the results of the 4,016 inspections made by the Spanish Energy Commission (CNE). The investigations show that three out of four solar photovoltaic (PV) parks didn’t comply with the Spanish Law, since the installations weren’t operating when subsidies arrived, and started producing energy much later than agreed. Other 671 parks happened to have broken seals on the equipment that measure production, and 264 produced energy in different amounts than approved.
Subsidies for production of photovoltaic energy in Spain exceeded €2,000m in 2010. This amount represents 41% of the total given to renewable sources of energy in the country. Critics against photovoltaics in Spain increase day after day, based on the fact that only 2% of total energy consumption comes from this source. The Ministry of Industry is studying to impose heavy sanctions to the installations that are proven to be fraudulent.
On the other hand, the retroactive cuts approved in December by the minister of industry, Miguel Sebastián, will be taken to court by several associations of PV producers and businesses. These cuts would allow annual savings of €740m for three years. The measure adds further pressure to the sector, considering that future subsidies will be reduced by 45%.
Photovoltaic associations alert of the terrible effects that these measures will have in the Spanish economy. They foresee a reduction of 40,000 jobs, closing of several small and medium companies, and a macroeconomic cost of €5,000m until 2020.
In Spain there are more than 27,000 installations under 100kW –almost all are run by individuals– and 24,000 of 100kW –run by both individuals and companies–. Also, some 100 installations have between two and 10MW.
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