The Wall Street Journal

Spain Said to Be Poised to Cut Renewable Subsidies
The Wall Street Journal

Under a broad energy-sector overhaul to be announced as early as June 21, Spain’s government will reduce subsidies to renewable-energy producers by 10% to 20%. The move could drive tens of thousands of struggling solar-energy companies into default at a time of deepening recession and eventually boost loan losses for banks that financed the projects.

Those government subsidies increase the costs for running the nation’s electrical system. For years, the subsidies and other overall costs of running the system have been higher than the amount of money generated by actual sales of power to households and businesses, resulting in a « tariff deficit. »

Spain’s electricity system has registered deficits during most of the past decade. By May, the total accumulated deficit had reached about €26 billion ($34.04 billion). The government has promised to narrow the annual gap this year as it struggles to bring down its budget deficit and limit the rise in household electricity bills.

Spain began offering large subsidies and other incentives in the late 2000s to promote the growth of solar-energy projects. In addition, banks loaned the renewable-energy companies an estimated €30 billion. As a result, the amount of solar-power capacity installed in Spain far surpassed official government targets, increasing the tariff deficit.

Pendant ce temps au Québec, idéologie verdoyante oblige, on va dans la direction opposée