Spanish renewable tax sparks political row

SPAIN: Tensions within the Spanish government over plans to reduce the costs of electricity generation have turned public with budget minister Cristóbal Montoro criticising industry ministry proposals to tax specific technologies.

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They include a 11% tax on wind, 4% on thermal production, 19% on photovotaic and 13% on solar accumulating, according to details leaked to El País newspaper and later confirmed by Spain's energy and industry minister José Soria.

But Montoro told the news agency Bloomberg such selective taxation would be discriminatory and contrary to European legislation. "Until I decide, this isn’t going forward, whoever announces it," Montoro said. Clarifying the details of Spain’s financial rescue package should take priority over resolving Spain’s €24 billion electricity tariff deficit, he added.

His statement follows EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger’s warning  to the Spanish government that any measures to reduce the deficit must be technology neutral and not prejudice new renewables projects.

The Spanish wind generators association AEE told WPM "the argument is positive in that it shows the government is considering this issue carefully".

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