Of course the Government of Spain is “a bit off-center” in energy matters is an open secret, even more so in view of the latest regulations published in the State official newsletter.
At the end of 2012, under the formula of Royal decree law, which the Government of Rajoy uses so much, RD-Law 29/2012, of December 28, on the improvement of management and social protection in the Special System for Household Employees and other measures of an economic and social nature. Chapter III sets out a series of measures for the electricity and hydrocarbon sectors, such as the non-application of the prevailing economic regime for special regime generation facilities not completed before the deadline or with equipment not provided for in the project of execution. Likewise, in the fourth final provision, Law 54/1997 of the electricity sector is partially modified, specifically in what has to do with the tariff deficit.
On the last Friday of December 2012, Law 15/2012 of December 27, on fiscal measures for the energy sustainability, which aims to “harmonize the Spanish tax system with a more efficient and respectful use of the environment and sustainability”, as set out in the corresponding preamble.
Rule three new taxes: the tax on the value of energy production electric power, the tax on nuclear fuel production spent and radioactive waste from nuclear power generation and the tax on the spent nuclear fuel storage and radioactive waste in centralized facilities.
Likewise, a fee is created for the use of continental waters for the production of electric power, the tax rates established for natural gas and coal are modified, also eliminating the exemptions provided for energy products used in the production of electrical energy and in the cogeneration of electricity and useful heat.
In the first Minister council of February, RD-Law 2/2013, of February 1, on urgent measures in the electricity system and in the financial sector, was also approved. In its preamble, it is surprisingly stated, and it should be noted, that there have been “deviations in the estimates of costs and income motivated by different factors, which, in the current economic context, would make the coverage of the the same with charge to the electric tolls and the foreseen items coming from the State’s general budgets.
These deviations are largely due to a higher growth in the cost of the special scheme due to an increase in operating hours higher than those foreseen and to an increase in remuneration values due to their indexation to the Brent price, and a reduction in the toll revenue due to a drop in demand.
The alternative that arises would be a new increase in the access tolls paid by electricity consumers. This measure would directly affect domestic economies and the competitiveness of companies, both in a delicate situation given the current economic situation. Faced with this scenario, the Government has considered to alleviate this problem the adoption of certain urgent cost reduction measures that avoid the assumption of a new effort by consumers, helping them, through consumption and investment, to collaborate also to economic recovery. “
The two most important measures are the elimination of the production premium renewable electric, so you have the option of the electricity pool only (depending on how it is at all times), and the regulated rate, but whose update will be carried out through the Consumer price index at constant taxes without raw food and energy products. In both cases, the measures are applicable from January 1, 2013. Likewise, the Ministry of Industry will request a credit of 2,200 million from the Treasury to pay premiums for renewable energies, if necessary, to be borne by all taxpayers through the General State Budgets, when it really should be borne by the electricity companies.
Therefore, there is only one sector that benefits tremendously, and that is delighted with these regulations, and that is the electricity companies, grouped in UNESA.
On the contrary the renewable sector, much more atomized, is even seeing the possibility of completely destroying a leading sector in Spain, which was at the forefront of the world.