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Why did it take Spain 3 years to stops/changes subsidies to Solar Power Plants getting Feed in Tariff through Fraud

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Spain has started cracking down on Solar Power Plants which are making huge profits through illegal Feed in Tariffs which they should not get.Note Spain had seen a massive boom in solar installations in 2008 due to unusually large ROI driven by high Feed in Tariffs.FIT are electricity rates which are higher than wholesale electricity rates paid to renewable energy power plants in order to make them competitive with cheaper fossil fuel power plants.Seeing a huge increase in the subsidy burden Spain has pretty much killed the solar market in 2009,however the problems of Fiscal Deficit has made Spain reconsider the tariffs being given to even older solar power plants.After a lot of controversy,Spain changed the FIT rules in the middle of the game through a retroactive FIT Law drawing howls of protest from solar investors like pension funds which have sued the government.

Spain is now also pursuing the solar industry by cracking down on power plants which connected after 2008 but got the FIT for 2008 power plants.Almost 304 solar power plants have been deemed illegal.Spain is reviewing the all the 9000 plants and till now almost 30% of the plants being reviewed have had their subsidies stopped or FIT changed.Don’t know why it took Spain 3 years to crack down on subsidy fraud when everyone knew that massive solar fraud had taken place during the boom as everyone rushed to put up a solar power plant during the solar gold rush.

Spain watchdog halts premiums for 304 solar plants

Spain’s energy watchdog ruled on Thursday to provisionally suspend paying premiums to 304 solar plants which failed to show they were up and running before subsidies were capped in 2008.

The National Energy Commission (CNE) recalled in a statement that it had provisionally suspended another 347 solar plants on March 29.Last year the CNE began investigating 9,041 photovoltaic plants, of which 840 have waived a premium of 475 euros ($683.9) per megawatt-hour and accepted one of 326 euros/MWh.Spain’s benchmark wholesale power market price on Thursday was 44.43 euros/MWh.Of the remainder, 2,021 plants have been examined and 651 suspended. The government has the final say on suspensions.


Abhishek Shah

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