Climate Craziness of the Week – taxing sunlight

No, I’m not kidding. Truly, idiocy has no bounds.

In Spain, they appear to have actually done this, with fines up to 30 million Euros for non compliance.

The stupid, it sunburns. Air will be next. Breath tax.

From MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis:

sun_tax

link to Google translated article: El PaisSpain Privatizes The Sun

If you get caught collecting photons of sunlight for your own use, you can be fined as much as 30 million euros.

If you were thinking the best energy option was to buy some solar panels that were down 80% in price, you can forget about it.

“The Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF), which brings together some 300 companies representing 85% of the industry, ensures that, implemented these changes, it would be more expensive solar consumption resorting to conventional supply. “It prevents the savings to consumers and paralyzes the entry of new competition in the electricity market,” contemplate. “

 

Source: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/07/spain-levies-consumption-tax-on-sunlight.html

h/t to OSSqss

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134 Responses to Climate Craziness of the Week – taxing sunlight

  1. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    Proof – if any was ever needed – that it’s all a government sponsored scam.

  2. Iggy Slanter says:

    The brains in Spain have gone completely down the drain.

  3. Joe Public says:

    Its precursor in England was the notorious Window Tax.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_tax

  4. Socialism + centrist regulation = Crony Capitalism. Adan Smith warned about this sort of thing.

  5. Patrick says:

    Is that diesel powered solar?

  6. Chilli says:

    “Backup Toll”? Sounds like a good idea to me. Isn’t this just a sensible attempt by the Spanish government to claw back some of the over generous, index-linked, 25-year ‘Feed-in tariff’ subsidies they offered solar subsidy farmers, back before the credit crunch and the Euro currency crisis?

  7. Tom in sun soaked Florida says:

    NOW you can say, “Es el sol, estúpido. .”

  8. JohnB says:

    “Backup Tax” – It makes perfect sense to me as long the consumer is on the grid. The tax should apply to industrial sun and industrial wind as well. If not,…

    JohnB

  9. Zeke says:

    California is going to be so jealous.

  10. RC Saumarez says:

    If you invest in nonsense, what follows will be complete idiocy.

  11. Grumpy says:

    Chilli – eh? Think about it. So much for the freedom of the individual. Sounds like a load of vested interests protecting their newly acquired corner of the market. Why not just take away the subsidies? Oh, haven’t they had to do that already?

  12. I’m a Spaniard living in Spain, and I can assure you these policies just keep on accumulating.
    Don’t forget the previous idiotic release from the Ministry, trying to encouraging owners of solar farms to dismantle their installations in exchange for money.
    And guess what?
    Water is also being taxed the same way, if you find water in your property, you can’t use it, you have to pay a fee to the gov’t. There are people inspecting for illegal wells in private properties.

    Regarding the electric sector in Spain, yes, they’ve been swindling the people for at least 40 years or more. Their rates are the highest in Europe, despite being leaders in windmills.
    More information is available underneath, the “ataquealpoder” blog ones are the best in the world to discover what’s up with the energy sector for real, although in Spanish, it’s very accurate.
    Also I link the original document where this moronic law is written.

    – The following is in spanish –

    El Gobierno dará incentivos económicos a las empresas que cierren sus instalaciones renovables
    http://www.elconfidencial.com/economia/2013/07/17/el-gobierno-dara-incentivos-economicos-a-las-empresas-que-cierren-sus-instalaciones-renovables-125110/

    Industria gravará con un peaje la producción casera de electricidad

    La tasa es un 27% más cara que la que se abona por comprar a las compañías eléctricas
    Los ajustes asfixian a 30.000 familias con huertos solares
    http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2013/07/19/actualidad/1374237478_141414.html

    Propuesta de Real Decreto por el que se establece la regulación de las
    condiciones administrativas, técnicas y económicas de las modalidades
    de suministro de energía eléctrica con autoconsumo y de producción con autoconsumo.
    http://www.burbuja.info/inmobiliaria/burbuja-inmobiliaria/443334-borrador-de-real-decreto-del-auto-consumo.html

    http://s01.s3c.es/imag/doc/2013-07-18/CCE-Propuesta-RD-AUTOCONSUMO.pdf

    ¡Y no nos olvidemos del canon del agua!

    “Da igual que el agua proceda de pozos o manantiales privados o que la red de suministro fuera construida y financiada por los vecinos. Todos ellos, hasta ahora libres de pagar el canon, tendrán que saldar cuentas con la Administración autonómica.”
    http://www.farodevigo.es/galicia/2010/05/19/doscientos-mil-nuevos-hogares-tendran-pagar-canon-agua-e-instalar-contadores/440042.html

    Si queréis saber de que rollo van las eléctricas, leeros estos 9 artículos del genial Jose Manuel Novoa Novoa, son indispensables para comprender como nos engañan, desde cuándo y como sus artimañas no deberían de sorprendernos dado su historial delictivo:

    https://ataquealpoder.wordpress.com/category/el-mentiroso-recibo-de-la-luz/

  13. Also I find very stupid to put limits and not promote solar energy in a country well known for it’s many hours of sunlight.
    Promoting solar energy derived products in england would be more stupid than doing it in Spain.
    Of course, doing it in Spain would justify the “liberation” of the individual face-to-face with the electrical companies, and that ain’t no good for business.
    It’s programmed obsolescence.
    Industry of Maintenance = Constant Profitability
    We live in the world of scarcity trading.
    Seems Kaizen has it’s days counted.

  14. wws says:

    The real effect, of course, is that by shutting down demand for more panels the Spanish government is continuing to drive nails into the coffin of the Solar Energy business. Can’t think of a better way to kill the entire solar energy business than this!

  15. Ray says:

    Somebody must pay for all those windmills they put everywhere in Spain.

  16. PaulH says:

    This must be one of those “it’s not April Fool’s Day but let’s pretend it is because it’s a slow news day” things. Right? Right?

  17. Tom J says:

    Well, here in the U.S. we tax thoughts. Isn’t that sort of what the IRS scandals are all about?

  18. Chilli says:

    @Grumpy. From a skim read of the article it seems the ‘tax on sunlight’ headline is simply the way the solar subsidy farmers are trying frame this sensible charge. When a solar subsidy farmer connects his solar subsidy panel to the grid, in addition to the direct subsidies they receive from other energy users there is also a hidden subsidy: ‘The grid’ is required to accept the subsidy farmers intermittent output by curtailing output from cheaper conventional power stations when the sun happens to shine, and providing conventional backup sources when the sun goes behind a cloud or falls below the horizon. At the moment this hidden cost is again met by other bill payers (who are typically alot less wealthy than the subsidy farmers). This new “backup toll” seems like a sensible measure to redress the balance by reducing the unjustified subsidy payments. Agreed, it would make more sense to eliminate the subsidies entirely – however, perhaps this toll is an attempt to claw back some money from the 25 year subsidy contracts which were agreed at the height of MMGW hysteria.

  19. Indeed, I have the impression that this tax is made to regain some money from the enormous subsidies the Spanish government still need to pay for many years to solar cell owners. The subsidies were so high that several farmers installed huge numbers of cells and could stop farming… The same with wind farms. Incredible how they destroyed the landscape not far from Gibraltar, right in the middle of the tracks of migrating birds from Europe to Africa and back…

  20. View from the Solent says:
  21. LamontT says:

    Oh good, they wouldn’t want their people to embrace a ‘sustainable’ ‘green’ future. heh.

  22. Resourceguy says:

    Detroit needs this now!

  23. Finally something I can comment on this blog and be useful! I’m a spanish journalist and computer programmer. This tax is part of a bigger reform because Spain has a deficit of billions of euros every year with electric companies, mainly because of the massive solar and wind energy grants. We spaniards pay more for electricity than other europeans, but still pay a lot less than they cost because of the financial incentives to green energies.

    The link in which this post is based is written by Kaosenlared.net, a far far left pamphlet that buys the AGW and also the Cuba dictatorship. But there is something right: the electric reform is bullshit. At first, because our Supreme Court made impossible to stop paying green grants, the government planned to put a tax for 100% of the amount of the grant. But the pressure to stop this was succesful, and they have made an electric reform with a lot of new taxes so the deficit can be stopped. This is just one of them, possibly put in place so the electric companies doesn’t complain too much of all the other taxes.

    Yes, this is crazy, but it’s only a small step when you already have a socialist energy system.

  24. Jimbo says:

    Just think about all the green jobs this will create. :) Trickery from the start.

  25. Tom Trevor says:

    Tom J says:
    July 26, 2013 at 11:18 am
    Well, here in the U.S. we tax thoughts. Isn’t that sort of what the IRS scandals are all about?
    _________________________________________________________________________

    Well, more or else, but the difference is we call it a “scandal”, what they are doing in Spain is official government policy.

  26. Toto says:

    The source linked above in turn sources a newspaper in Costa Rica.
    http://elpais.cr/frontend/noticia_detalle/6/83700
    which in turn sources what seems to be a Communist blog
    http://kaosenlared.net/
    which seems not to have any article about this topic.
    This is just at first glance, so I may be wrong, but I will not give this any weight until I see a legitimate Spanish source.

    BTW, this goes against Spanish policy so far, according to Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Spain

  27. Dave says:

    Sailboat fuel seems like it could be next…

  28. Tonyb says:

    As a citizen of the EU I would remind everyone that, like Michael Mann, I have a Nobel prize. This one for peace

    Therefore this automatically means I am jolly clever and by extension so are the Spanish. So a bit more respect please from jealous non eu citizens.

    Tonyb

  29. rtj1211 says:

    Can’t think of anything more sensible in much of Spain than loading houses with solar panels. They have guaranteed sunshine for quite a few months a year, so the summer months most of the country’s domestic consumption could be covered by this.

  30. David, UK says:

    rtj1211 says:
    July 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Can’t think of anything more sensible in much of Spain than loading houses with solar panels. They have guaranteed sunshine for quite a few months a year, so the summer months most of the country’s domestic consumption could be covered by this.

    I would hardly say “most” but certainly a small but significant percentage of it.

    As for the main article: what should we expect? This is Spain, after all. Politically, hasn’t Spain always been even more backward than France? Hardly bastions of freedom by Western standards.

  31. Toto says:

    If you can read Spanish, do a search for
    “propuesta de Real Decreto para el autoconsumo eléctrico”
    or
    “La Unión Española Fotovoltaica”

  32. Eclectikus says:

    And this is to be done by a supposed conservative liberal administration. The big problem in Spain is that we have slipped by a spiral of subsidizing renewables to reach a point where no one knows how it will pay the bill (an accumulated deficit of about 40 billions of dollars), so they need to tax everything, at least all they can imagine… the ridiculousness of the each particular tax is not a parameter to take into account.

    You can find a short resume of the descent into hell in this article (I summarize here a conference on the subject organized by the Libertarian Party) :

    http://tiny.cc/SpanishEnergySystem (Google translated)

  33. DirkH says:

    Daniel Rodríguez Herrera says:
    July 26, 2013 at 11:41 am
    “Yes, this is crazy, but it’s only a small step when you already have a socialist energy system.”

    Thanks! Fantastic analysis! Yes, same opinion here from Germany. The distortions by solar and wind get more excessive, not only does our FIT fee per kWh rise from year to year but now we also pay into a slush fund that is meant to compensate offshore wind owners who can’t be connected.

    As with the EU ETS, one disturbance caused by central planners begets more disturbances. Inefficiencies, theft and total cost mount while the performance of the system deteriorates.

    Two possibilities: Continue meddling back and forth til the EU collapses, or at some time let the free market forces heal it.

    Given that continental European populations largely hold the free market in disdain (due to brainwashing by state media), I am not optimistic.

  34. Jon says:

    Does that also apply to trees and wood for burning in your homes?
    Mostly sunlight created and sun energy?

  35. Tim Clark says:

    Well, IMHO, I would postulate that eventually the only human condition that will remain essentially free would be to put your head between your legs and kiss your arse goodbye.

  36. wte9 says:

    Uh, so will farms (food, not solar), as consumers of sunlight for photosynthesis, also be subject to a tax? Never mind, don’t want to give them ideas.

  37. Sam the First says:

    Yet more eveidence that we the people are the servants of the politicians, and not the reverse. This is especially true of the EU which of course sets all energy policy for those countries which belong,a nd which is not a democracy.

    How this tax on solar power sits with the EU’s demands that each country reduces CO2 generation by some ridiculous percentage within an even more impossible timeframe, remains to be explained. It seems particularly harsh on those many Spaniards and expats who live out in the campo and have only solar power or an emergency generator, and have invested in their own power systems of necessity .

  38. Jonathan Abbott says:

    I’d like to think that such obvious, rank stupidity would be the final nail in the coffin. If rationality was brought to bear, it would be. However I fear we have a lot further to sink yet. The idiots have locked themselves into the ammunition magazine and are trying to blow us all to kingdom come.

  39. Max™ says:

    Uh, don’t we produce CO2 when we breathe?

    I mean, taxing CO2 is already a tax on breathing.

  40. Bob Diaz says:

    Does anyone still wonder why Spain’s economy is a mess?

  41. CodeTech says:

    I always thought a tax was supposed to be a way for governments to finance services they provide. So does the Spanish government provide sunlight now?

  42. And don’t forget that Spain leads the world in collecting solar energy at night. I kid you not.
    Solar panel ‘farmers’ find it pays to buy a diesel generator and a bank of floodlights and illuminate their panels and sell the ‘solar’ electricity.

  43. Somebody says:

    Romania has a tax on wind, too. I expect they’ll copy Spain at that Sun tax, too. I predicted it a long time ago.

  44. @Joe Public says: July 26, 2013 at 10:43 am
    Its precursor in England was the notorious Window Tax.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_tax
    ======================================

    You will still see houses in places such as Bath with the windows blocked up as a result of said tax. Taxing sunlight sounds like something from Gulliver’s Travels.

  45. TonyG says:

    Ignore – following comments

  46. DirkH says:

    TonyG says:
    July 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm
    “Ignore – following comments”

    Is that a magic incantation that binds the NSA and Google?

  47. DirkH says:

    CodeTech says:
    July 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    “I always thought a tax was supposed to be a way for governments to finance services they provide. So does the Spanish government provide sunlight now?”

    No, but the French. They have a sun king. Louis XIV.

  48. TonyG says:

    DirkH says:
    Is that a magic incantation that binds the NSA and Google?

    It would have, until you invoked them by name :(

  49. DirkH says:

    Sam the First says:
    July 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    “How this tax on solar power sits with the EU’s demands that each country reduces CO2 generation by some ridiculous percentage within an even more impossible timeframe, remains to be explained.”

    The EU commission with the rest of the Eurocracy enters the vortex of dysfunction where the last cry heard will be Help Us Angela. Expect the EU state media to run overtime to paper over the cracks.

  50. Lars P. says:

    Daniel Rodríguez Herrera says:
    July 26, 2013 at 11:41 am
    … This tax is part of a bigger reform because Spain has a deficit of billions of euros every year with electric companies, mainly because of the massive solar and wind energy grants. We spaniards pay more for electricity than other europeans, but still pay a lot less than they cost because of the financial incentives to green energies.
    …….
    Yes, this is crazy, but it’s only a small step when you already have a socialist energy system.

    Thanks Daniel this helps to understand!

  51. Roy says:

    What about those people who use solar energy directly without first producing electricity? After all, I am sure there must people in Spain who hang their washing out to dry in the sun. Surely, if they don’t want to pay a tax they should hang their washing in the shade instead!

  52. Amr marzouk says:

    You can’t make this up.

  53. Neil McEvoy says:

    A government has actually acted on a real life version of Bastiat’s Petition of the Candlemakers parody. Incredible!

    http://bastiat.org/en/petition.html

  54. Lars P. says:

    CodeTech says:
    July 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    I always thought a tax was supposed to be a way for governments to finance services they provide. So does the Spanish government provide sunlight now?
    It looks like the subsidies are so high that even encouraged people to collect the photons during the night. Being also difficult if not impossible to repel, this came as a service to the non photon collectors persons, as crazy as it may seem, recollecting back some subsidies – see also Daniel’s post above at July 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

  55. Resourceguy says:

    It’s not crazy in a nation already crazy with a monolithic national union and over 20 percent unemployment rates.

  56. son of mulder says:

    Windmills tilting at the people.

  57. Jeff says:

    Speaking (drawing?) of windmills, xkcd has a couple, the first of which is probably appropriate
    in a number of ways:
    http://xkcd.com/556/ (Alternative Energy Revolution) and
    http://xkcd.com/1119/ (Undoing)
    (probably along the lines of http://xkcd.com/562/ [Parking])

    Doesn’t England also claim to own the water that falls on one’s property?

    They reign in Spain who tax the folks to pain….

  58. Perry says:

    A comment from an expat in Spain.

    “If you generate your own electricity you will now be forced to install a very expensive new meter, which is almost as expensive as a solar panel. This meter also records the amount that we generate and use ourselves, and charges us the tax on each kilowatt.

    Meaning that if currently the average homeowner pays off his solar kit in 12 years, once the new law comes in, it will take us 23 years to pay it off and start seeing savings.

    Oh, and if you already have such a kit installed – you also have to comply with the new laws.

    Read more http://www.davidjackson.info/2013/homeowners-to-be-taxed-for-producing-their-own-electricity.htm“http://www.davidjackson.info/2013/homeowners-to-be-taxed-for-producing-their-own-electricity.htm

  59. Zeke says:

    What began with subsidies, “creating green jobs,” and “leveling the playing field” for worthless wind turbines and solar panels had to end with consumption tax on sunlight.

    Bastiat’s Candlemaker’s Petition
    “We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us so mercilessly we suspect he is being stirred up against us by perfidious Albion (excellent diplomacy nowadays!), particularly because he has for that haughty island a respect that he does not show for us [1].

    We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the fair industries with which, we are proud to say, we have endowed the country, a country that cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon us today to so unequal a combat.

    First, if you shut off as much as possible all access to natural light, and thereby create a need for artificial light, what industry in France will not ultimately be encouraged?”
    ~Frederic Bastiat

  60. AndyG55 says:

    Zeke says:
    “California is going to be so jealous.”….

    That they didn’t think of it first !!

  61. Mike Jonas says:

    rafaelneville – there is a difference between private use of water and of sunlight. When you use sunlight, you are not taking it away from anyone else.

  62. Kev-in-Uk says:

    So the next thing wil be solar panels disguised as roof tiles? or flip over like James Bond number plates?
    My Gawd – if the Spanish ‘allow’ this through their government, then all I can say is stuff them for being so stupid! Heck if the Greeks can organise big protests, you would think the Spaniards could do the same?

  63. eo says:

    Will there be a tax for sunbathing ?

  64. The Engineer says:

    Spain are amatuers compared to Danmark.
    Because of massive subsidies for solar panels, in a system in which the house owner sells electricity from suncells back to the grid, the tax office (government) excused (unexpected) cuts
    in subsidies by explaining that private individuals “were not” paying tax on their production of electricity, which they would have had to, if they bought directly from the grid.

    The argument goes that IN Denmark, if you eat grass from your lawn, then you avoided the tax on the beef-steak (yes in Denmark there is tax on everything) you could have bought instead. You are therefore liable (according to the tax-office) to pay the same tax for the grass (you produced) anyway.

    I kid you not.

  65. LaurenR says:

    Think there’s any link between economically stupid taxes and regulations and Spain’s 26.8% unemployment rate?

  66. Gary Hladik says:

    Margaret Hardman says (July 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm): “Try here ”

    Thanks, Margaret.

    As Chilli says (July 26, 2013 at 11:22 am), the aim is apparently to offset some of the costs of connecting private solar panels to the grid:

    “Right now, it is possible to generate energy privately in Spain as long as it is used immediately – known as instantaneous self-consumption.”

    This tends to make up for the outrageous subsidies being paid solar power generators, although it would seem more reasonable just to phase out the subsidies, right?

    However, the would-be private solar generator/consumer is still screwed, because he’s not allowed to store excess generated power:

    “Excess energy may not be stored in batteries as that is prohibited. When there is no sun or wind, consumers have to use the regular service and pay the bill.”

    which IMHO is what really makes this a let-them-eat-cake kind of situation. The article doesn’t mention if households are allowed to use diesel or human-powered generators.

  67. David, UK says:

    CodeTech says:
    July 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I always thought a tax was supposed to be a way for governments to finance services they provide.

    You seriously thought that? Since when? Tax (defined as legalised theft of property from citizens by their ruling masters) is to finance whatever the Government bloody like.

  68. ferd berple says:

    daylight robbery

  69. James Allison says:

    Julia Gillard will be pissed off she didn’t think of it.

  70. Rbravery says:

    My skin collects sunlight. Will I be fined for taking a beach holiday on the Costa del Sol?

  71. Gary Pearse says:

    Josh – this is made for you! A cartoon of a Spaniard being dragged away by the Carabineros for having a siesta in the sun. America, please don’t succumb to the control knobblers.

  72. johanna says:

    I can actually understand the rationale for this – but it’s like trying to fix a soup that is burned – no matter what you do, you’re just throwing good ingredients after bad. Or, to use another cooking metaphor, you can’t unscramble an egg.

    Since the courts have ruled out clawing back the long-term subsidies that they are locked into, and they are in hock up to the eyeballs, desperate measures are being tried. I don’t know enough about the Spanish constitution or system of government to see how they can get of this self-imposed mess, but it is certainly a lesson that other governments (and voters) should heed.

  73. starzmom says:

    The window tax was a way to tax a house based on its size and value. The more windows, the bigger and more expensive the house is. In colonial America and in our early states we did the same thing. But I don’t think it is quite the same as taxing the sun. Which seems very stupid and counterproductive to me if you want to encourage solar development. That is apparently not Spain’s goal.

  74. u.k.(us) says:

    Interesting times….. to say the least.

  75. jorgekafkazar says:

    rafaelneville says: “Regarding the electric sector in Spain, yes, they’ve been swindling the people for at least 40 years or more. Their rates are the highest in Europe, despite being leaders in windmills.”

    Despite??? You can’t be serious. You obviously forgot the /sarc.

  76. TRM says:

    Ah George, we miss you and your insightful lyrics. That and rumour has it you played a great guitar :)

    Boy do we miss you.

  77. Joseph D. says:

    During the American Revolution, there was a popular song, “The Junto Song,” a satirical song about British tax collection. The last verse is —

    We’ll force and fraud in one unite,
    To bring them to our hands;
    Then lay a tax on the sun’s-light,
    Then lay a tax on the sun’s-light,
    And King’s tax on their lands –
    And King’s tax on their lands!
    And a-taxing we will go,
    A-taxing we will go,
    A-taxing we will go,
    A-taxing we will go.

    But back then it was satire.

  78. DR says:

    This is all part of the Agenda 21 theme. Maryland has a ‘rain tax’. As government continues to get bigger, more intrusive, the statists will think of all sorts of ways to steal all the wealth from the private and control every aspect of our lives.
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/11/heres-whats-included-in-marylands-controversial-rain-tax-its-exactly-what-it-sounds-like/

  79. Mark says:

    Bastiat is laughing in his grave. I’ve been saying the ultimate goal of the radical environmentalists is to control our very breath for years. I’m glad to see others are coming to the same conclusion.

  80. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Mark –
    I’d throw anyone who came up with this incredible-beyond-incredible idea into solitary and weld the cell door shut, then take ‘em out when you smell the corpse. It gets to the point where the climate criminals, if they can, will regulate every breath we take based on some cockamamie measurement of how much CO2 we’re exhaling.

  81. Gene L says:

    Not much different than the various plans to tax electric cars for the gas they didn’t use. (oregon, Washington, Virginia, Texas…)

  82. Grey Lensman says:

    Sadly the lunacy of Government.

    In the UK, the tax is on fuel use. So if you make your own biodiesel and use it as fuel, you owe the tax. Even if you were able to use water, tax would be due. To make sure you get the point UK Gov does not mess around with such arcane matters as a mechanism for you to pay said tax, they just bankrupt you for tax evasion.

    Plus if you made your own alcohol fuel they would do you for illegal distillation.

    In the uk, They have you by the ……………………….

    No way out.

  83. Lubos Motl says:

    The plan surely sounds funny but you don’t seem to understand that it’s mainly a clever way to get some subsidies paid to the solar barons back from them. One simply has to be creative to undo such sins of the past.

  84. Gen. P. Malaise says:

    that really is what it is all about. control and money. the climate “debate ” is just for you folks to jump up and down about the distraction while the thugs (government) steal your money and your future.

    cheers …it isn’t going to get better anytime soon.

  85. Casper says:

    Anthony,
    if you’re visiting a health resort in Europe, you already pay a breath tax.

  86. @Mike Jonas
    Water in your property should be yours as you paid for your property.
    But since Spain is a Neo-Feudal state and everything belongs to the state, you have to pay your serfdom fees.
    Without forgetting that in Galicia, where the article is centered, the least problem they have is water scarcity. Rain there is as common or more than in England.
    I didn’t intend to compare both. Just point out that it is being taxed as well.
    Continuous state interference in peoples lives.

  87. @jorgekafkazar
    Obviously it’s sarcasm…
    There is no bigger swindle than renewables.
    The windmills are actually secondary source energy, not even primary, because their motors are synchronous, these depend from a primary source, which in this case is a power plant.
    These motors as well are more troublesome and leak oil.
    During the great storm in scotland some years ago one of these burnt away. Cool photos.
    In germany they use of the other types.

    I spoke with the author of “ataquealpoder” blog, a friend of mine, and told him about this subject.
    He’ll be posting it next week. I highly reccomend you this blog. He got menaced by the energy companies for his four post special.

    https://ataquealpoder.wordpress.com/category/el-mentiroso-recibo-de-la-luz/

  88. DirkH says:

    Lubos Motl says:
    July 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    “The plan surely sounds funny but you don’t seem to understand that it’s mainly a clever way to get some subsidies paid to the solar barons back from them. One simply has to be creative to undo such sins of the past.”

    Lubos, that’s why I said in a comment, disturbances beget more disturbances. This will of course not be the last one. Meddling begets attempts at countermeddling, but each intervention causes unwanted side effects. Now, self sufficiency has become a crime in Spain – this was not the desired outcome by the meddlers but self sufficiency just became roadkill. Would you trust in that bureaucracy to fix more problems than it solves? Me neither.

  89. Eclectikus says:

    I think Lubos (July 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm) has nailed it. It has been the feast, the hangover has passed too, and now we must pay the bill.

    Just a sample, between 2004 and 2010 anyone could get money loans is Spain for building solar farms, no need of guarantees because there weren’t any risk, the rentability was warranted by the own administration (premiums for renewables). So companies, and many (well-connected) small investors made millions at the expense of the money of all the spaniards. And meanwhile, our deficit growing up monstrously (40 billions of dollars now), and President Zapatero boasting of being the greenest leader of the world, the king of the unicorns.

    And now that the bill must be paid, as I said above, the ridiculousness of the tax does not count, just they have to balance legal certainty with who should pay the joke… And guess who gets the brunt.

    As Daniel above (July 26, 2013 at 11:41 am) clearly points: “it’s only a small step when you already have a socialist energy system”.

  90. Txomin says:

    Please note that Spain has a right-wing government, whatever that means in general and in Spain in particular.

  91. Eyal Porat says:

    Sadly, they did not invent anything: in Israel it is forbidden to collect rain water for home use, or for any other use for that.
    Even if all the water run out to sea… (You could argue this is somewhat different since these waters could eventually reach the reservoirs, but if you live by the sea there is no chance for that).
    As was stated above – stupidity has no boundaries.

  92. Eclectikus says:

    Txomin says: “Please note that Spain has a right-wing government, whatever that means in general and in Spain in particular.”

    Well, only theoretically, in Economy they are social democratic and Keynesian at its finest.

  93. johnmarshall says:

    Just shows how desperate Spain is for money.

  94. Quelgeek says:

    I can’t seem to find any original Spanish source for this story. The trail seem to lead to Cuban and Costa Rican web sites. WUWT?

  95. meltemian says:

    For God’s Sake don’t tell the Greek government that! We’re already paying a ‘Solidarity Tax’ via our electric bills. (We’ve got a fair amount of sunshine too)

  96. Tom in Florida says:

    rafaelneville says:
    July 27, 2013 at 1:18 am
    “Water in your property should be yours as you paid for your property.”

    Unfortunately it is not that simple. It all depends upon the source of that water. Is the water surface or underground? Is it running or percolating? Is it for private or commercial use?

    Florida has laws that cover those situations, although there are some vague areas that always need to be settled by the courts on a case by case basis.

    Now concerning domestic use of water from a well, Florida recognizes the land owner using water from a well on his land can have unlimited use of that water, as long as it does not cause harm to a neighbor. So one does not own the water, no one does, but we have access and use of that water by law.

  97. Alan D McIntire says:

    So Spain has given subsidies to solar providers, and now wants to get the subsidies back in taxes. Why not just eliminate the subsidies in the first place?

  98. wws says:

    “Finally something I can comment on this blog and be useful!”

    heh, nobody else here places such a limitation on themselves. Just sayin’!

  99. Patrick says:

    “Alan D McIntire says:

    July 27, 2013 at 6:10 am”

    There is no “profit” in that!

  100. Eclectikus says:

    Alan says: “Why not just eliminate the subsidies in the first place?” Yep, that was the first step. Try this (google translate):

    http://tiny.cc/3billionCuts

  101. Kevin Kilty says:

    Lubos Motl says:
    July 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    The plan surely sounds funny but you don’t seem to understand that it’s mainly a clever way to get some subsidies paid to the solar barons back from them. One simply has to be creative to undo such sins of the past.

    I fail to see how walloping the enterprising consumer with a tax will claw back some of the ill thought out renewables subsidies, especially considering that the very same tax payers are on the hook for the subsidies in the first place. Oh no, this looks merely like a scheme for figuring out how to finance the subsidies. It is money made to run in unproductive circles.

    And there is no use in trying to read in Spanish the explanation. It will be like my Taiwanese friend Hersong Chen telling me how he would read the official mainland Chinese newspapers and could read the words, but still never understood what it all meant.

  102. pat says:

    Government by Laurel and Hardy.
    “Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.”

  103. Fanakapan says:

    Seem’s a lot of you blokes are behind the curve when it comes to figuring out how the ‘Political’ game is played the world over, including the USA. Obviously Spain is completely in the Klart financially, and the Green money making revolution has been demonstrated to be a Bust. Now no politician is ever going to come out and openly admit they were wrong, so faced with promises made in pre economic crapper days, of 25 years of subsidy for Solar, they have to find a way of backtracking ? This Tax on solar seems like a perfect solution for their woes, and may result in increasing numbers of punters disconnecting their 2Kw roof systems, and thereby lessening the load of subsidy. It may even have an effect upon the Industrial Scale solar farms ?

    The net effect is one where the politicians are able to kill off subsidy without actually having to admit to that being the Intent, in short, a politicians wet dream.

    This is probably the manner in which the AGW Scam will end worldwide, and for those of you who imagine the perp’s being dragged on hurdles through the streets, or being tarred and feathered, might I suggest you go back to reading your Patriot Mythology stories :)

  104. Zeke says:

    Individual liberties protected in the Constitution and Bill of Rights say that any power not specifically given to Congress and the President is reserved to the people and to the states. The ninth and tenth amendments preserve all individual liberties which were not specifically named in the other amendments. Therefore, under the ninth and tenth amendments, the people retain the right not to be forced to purchase state run medical plans, and we retain the right not to be forced to purchase expensive electricity from worthless wind turbines and solar panels.

    But “human rights” are the opposites of civil liberties, and require the involuntary participation of all citizens in these programs. When any one tells you you have a “human right” to renewable energy, state education, and state healthcare, this is simply terminology for involuntary participation. That is why the private use of solar panels is being fined for up to a million euros, because where purchase where energy is a “human right,” this removes voluntary purchase of energy outside of that provided by the grid from the renewables. Go check you Green Mythology.

    ref: “Human-rightism is an ideology that has nothing in common with practical issues of the individual freedom and of free political discourse. It is about entitlements. Classical liberals and libertarians do not emphasize enough that the rights interpreted in this way are against freedom and the rational functioning of society.

    Human rights are in fact a revolutionary denial of civil rights.” ~Klaus Vaclav

  105. Hot under the collar says:

    “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”
    And now Spanish bureaucrats.

    Have I woken up in some mad alternate universe run by insane bureaucrats?

  106. Perry says:

    Quelgeek says:
    July 27, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I can’t seem to find any original Spanish source for this story.

    http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/07/23/inenglish/1374591905_024635.html?rel=rosEP

  107. Perry says:

    From the El Pais link: http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/07/23/inenglish/1374591905_024635.html?rel=rosEP

    “Right now, it is possible to generate energy privately in Spain as long as it is used immediately – known as instantaneous self-consumption. The latest legislation on this option dates from 2011. Nobody did it before this because it wasn’t worth it financially. But the cost of photovoltaic equipment has dropped as much as 80 percent in the last five years, while electricity bills have kept rising, making self-sufficiency an attractive option in these times of crisis. Cow farms use it, supermarkets use it, and even the odd private consumer uses it. Excess energy may not be stored in batteries as that is prohibited. When there is no sun or wind, consumers have to use the regular service and pay the bill.”

    Does this mean inexpensive solar powered trickle chargers for cars will be taxed? What about boat owners who use wind generators & solar panels when at sea or in harbour, to keep their house batteries fully charged? The Spanish government is bonkers. One wonders if they are aware that a camel is a committee designed horse?

    Cordially,

    Perry

  108. Robert of Ottawa says:

    It brings to mind the phrase Daylight robbery

  109. Jon says:

    “And there is no use in trying to read in Spanish the explanation. It will be like my Taiwanese friend Hersong Chen telling me how he would read the official mainland Chinese newspapers and could read the words, but still never understood what it all meant.”
    http://translate.google.com/m/translate

  110. Jon says:

    Does this new tax on solar panels also apply to 12/24 Volt home systems?

  111. Jon says:

    “This is all part of the Agenda 21 theme. Maryland has a ‘rain tax’. As government continues to get bigger, more intrusive, the statists will think of all sorts of ways to steal all the wealth from the private and control every aspect of our lives.
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/11/heres-whats-included-in-marylands-controversial-rain-tax-its-exactly-what-it-sounds-like/

    Could be Agenda 21 motivated. Drive people out of private property with regulation, taxes and fines. Now wonder they want to take away your guns?

  112. Jon says:

    ““Excess energy may not be stored in batteries as that is prohibited. When there is no sun or wind, consumers have to use the regular service and pay the bill.”

    which IMHO is what really makes this a let-them-eat-cake kind of situation. The article doesn’t mention if households are allowed to use diesel or human-powered generators.”

    What if you have electric car in your garage? And store excess energy there?

  113. Manuel says:

    Well, first of all the EL PAÍS newspaper you cited is from Costa Rica. The true opinion of the spanish EL PAÍS (one of the leader papers in Europe) is not exactly the same (cf: http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/07/12/opinion/1373654718_280707.html; sorry, it’s in spanish). In any case, the electricity consumption in private homes coming from solar or wind small production is marginal in Spain. Why? Because of the real high prices of the installation, which are not interesting in economical way until 15 or 20 years (It’s the normal problem with the solar pannels and the accumulators of energy, I know the question very well, I have one small solar installation and it’s not really interestring, even in the Sunny Center of Spain). With the new regulation (coming from the rightist PP party, which dominates the spanish politics by absolute majority in the Parliament), this period of interesting self-consumption will be more tan 25 years. Of course, the new Law is worse; but worse than bad means… bad. On the other hand, it’s true that the price of eletricity on Spain is between the most expensive in Europe, but not really far from what you have to pay in Germany, France, Italy or UK (more expensive than in USA or Canada). In any case, the electricity companies are everywhere -in USA too- really powerful and the governments are following their demands easily. But in Spain these companies don’t agree the new regulations. So, nobody is happy… except the government; but it seems that the Ministry of Energy is against the Ministry of Economy. So?

  114. hunter says:

    The AGW believers, charlatans, hustlers and profiteers are going to get a lesson about who is really in charge and what their motives are.
    Watching them eat their own is so much fun.

  115. hunter says:

    @ Zeke says:
    July 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    Zeke you are really on to something.
    It would be nice to read more of what you are thinking.

  116. Robert Orme says:

    Actually there is a new book on the AGW fallacy written by Bob Carter; its meant for the lay person and is called “Taxing Air”. Published by Kelpie Press-glrmc42@gmail.com

  117. prjindigo says:

    Is there an exemption for solar panels on government buildings, signs and research equipment?
    Did the government provide exemption to power companies so they don’t have to pay fair-use for lines going over people’s homes?
    Does it include direct solar water heating?
    Is it worded so that you are breaking the law if you have south facing windows in the winter?

  118. Nik says:

    Sorry to be vulgar, but unless politicians get a good reaming this sort of monkey business will go on.

  119. J Martin says:

    They hand out a subsidy, which by law they cannot stop, so they add on a tax to cancel the subsidy. Genius. We should do that in the UK as well. Subsidising people to put solar panels on their roofs is criminal, it reverses the tax system by making the poor who cannot afford solar panels subsidise the rich who can afford solar panels.

    Well done Spain. I hope we do the same in the UK, and also apply it to windmill owners as well.

  120. Resourceguy says:

    Don’t laugh, this will be the way of all Ponzi scheme, vote buying, with kick-the-can, public finance.

  121. Andyj says:

    The one world gov’t told the regional Gov’ts to bind the Solar electricity payouts with a contract. This was due to the extreme cost of the systems and get the lead sheep to start jumping the fence. Same as now with electric cars). Now panels are dirt cheap and a complete no-brainer.

    Debts from complete idiocy or not; Gov’ts do what they typically do. Give with one hand and take with another.

    They won’t tax stupidity.

  122. kcrucible says:

    “Their rates are the highest in Europe, despite being leaders in windmills.”

    You say that as if they two should be mutually exclusive instead of explanatory. ;)

  123. Jon says:

    If they can’t end the meaningless expensive subsidies to solar- and wind-power producers, thanks to the socialists mindless binding contract with this industry, it makes sence that they instead tax them to Bankruptcy?

  124. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    I sense a revolution stirring.

  125. Theresa says:

    Can someone please find a Spanish source for this? I only see fringe blogs and costa rican articles on it.

  126. _Jim says:

    Theresa says July 29, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Can someone please find a Spanish source for this? I only see fringe blogs and costa rican articles on it.

    I’m not finding any secondary sources for this story either, but, I’m still looking …

    .

  127. _Jim says:

    One article from which this may have evolved:

    http://www.energias-renovables.com/articulo/quien-le-ha-escrito-a-nadal-20130724

    Paragraph excerpt, English translation via Google:

    The photovoltaic solar getting cheaper

    The brutal falling prices of PV – 75% in 36 months – and the brutal increase in the price of electricity in Spain, more than 60% between 2008 and 2012 ( see NEC, page 124 ) – have become an option for self-consumption increasingly attractive, to the point that some industry sources estimate that right now and could have, in small installations of less than 100 kilowatts, more than three megawatts of power running.

    And all this despite the fact that the consumption is not fully regulated.

    Namely, the Royal Decree 1699/2011, of November 18 , RD who opened the doors for home consumption, and noted the need for another RD to realize “the administrative, technical and economical consumption of the electricity produced in the within the network of a consumer for their own consumption. ”

    Sounds like the California situation, i.e., as Cali retail prices rise, it becomes cheaper for retailer consumers of electricity to buy their own solar cells (which are getting cheaper) and construct their own power sources … and this may be addressed by another “RD” (Royal Decree) in Spain at least …

    .

  128. _Jim says:

    Another –

    Title: “The electricity reform is a ‘burden’ for renewable energy and the consumption”

    Subtitle: In this sense, the coordinator of the platform, Cote Romero, accused of “short-term” and “made to measure the five major electrical industries” energy policy of the present government

    SUBMITTED BY: ECOTICIAS.COM / RED / AGENCIES, 24.07.2013, 10:28 H | (250) READS

    First two paragraphs:

    Representatives of cooperative production of renewable energy (Power Som, Zencer, Goiener, Enerplus) and organizations like Vieure de l’air, Ecoo and the Terra Foundation, members of the Platform for a New Energy Model, have criticized the new electricity reform because, in his opinion, “hampers” renewables and consumption.

    In this sense, the coordinator of the platform, Cote Romero, accused of “short-term” and “made to measure the five major electrical industries” energy policy of the present government, that “not only violates the Renewable Energy Directive and sets risk achieving Goal 202020 European, but also penalizes consumers in general (increasing its electricity bill) and photovoltaic and wind, as well as for self-consumption.

    Bolding mine.

    .

  129. Ben of Houston says:

    Is anyone else reminded about the Window Tax in Prince and the Pauper? The pauper (posing as the prince/new king) refuses to sign into law a tax on windows as it would effectively be a tax on sunlight, which belongs to God alone.

    How wonderful that our country’s greatest satirist made another one 150 years early.

  130. D. J. Hawkins says:

    Chilli says:
    July 26, 2013 at 10:45 am
    “Backup Toll”? Sounds like a good idea to me. Isn’t this just a sensible attempt by the Spanish government to claw back some of the over generous, index-linked, 25-year ‘Feed-in tariff’ subsidies they offered solar subsidy farmers, back before the credit crunch and the Euro currency crisis?

    You misunderstand the purpose of the toll. It’s to prevent the private homeowner or small business from setting up a solar system for their own private use with their own money should they find it otherwise to their economic advantage. It is to protect the feed-in tariff rent-seekers.

  131. @Tom in Florida July 27, 2013 at 6:04 am
    Galicia is a region overflowed by water, it rains A LOT there.
    The law intends to tax ANY source of water that doesn’t come directly from the public/private service (rainwater collection seems the last resort).

  132. Steve Dove says:

    OK at first I thought it was a joke, then I thought who has paid who to get this law through (Spain being the most corrupt place I have ever lived in). But maybe it is a stroke of genius. The tax applies to those who have grid electricity and solar. The Spanish grid is hopelessly inadequate. We are off-grid in Spain for the sole reason that the cables in our area are too small to add any more homes to. So we provide our own electricity using solar and as far as I can see we will not have to pay this tax, as will anyone who disconnects themselves from the grid and uses solar. Freeing up the grid to provide electricity to those without solar

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