Page 47 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2014
P. 47
Summer 2014 European Energy Innovation 47


€60 million. The sanction—aimed
at dissuading anybody from
dodging the “sun tax”—is totally
disproportionate. By contrast, the
maximum fine for a nuclear plant
failing to report a radioactive leak
is just €30 million.

Overall, the reform clearly does
not, as the government claims,
seek “reasonable profit” for
renewables operators. Rather it
aims to dismantle the Spanish
photovoltaic industry.

Furthermore, the reform hides
up its sleeve a trump card, which,
every three years, enables all the
rules to be completely changed.
The uncertainty regarding
potential changes in future
laws removes any predictability
regarding returns on PV plant
investments. Those plants also
become non-sellable—except to
the type of market sharks that buy
such assets for one euro a piece.

The question for the EU is
whether its institutions should
accept what is happening in
Spain. Clearly, the electricity
reform goes against European
directives and energy objectives
for 2020 and 2030. It also
undermines basic principles
of legal security with blatantly
retroactive measures that
recalculate and reduce revenues
made in the past, altering
the logical and reasonable
expectations of investors.

If such basic principles can be
undermined in one of its member
states, the same can happen
anywhere in the EU. Without
intervention in the Spanish energy
reform, the credibility of Europe
as an attractive place to invest is
in jeopardy. l
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