In January of 2012 the Government of the Popular Party approved the Royal Decree Law 1 / 2012 by which the quotas of the Special Energy Regime were indefinitely suspended, that is to say, the procedures of pre-allocation of remuneration and of the incentives for new photovoltaic installations and other renewable energies. In practice, this RDL supposed that the new photovoltaic plants that were not registered in quotas will not receive any premium but will be able to sell the energy at market price.
Such regulation suppressed the development of photovoltaic energy and aggravated the crisis in the renewable sector in Spain, which began in the year 2010, when the previous socialist government approved two regulations: one that limited the perception of premiums up to the limit of the year 25 (RD 1565 / 2010, of 19 of November) and the last one, the 24 of December of 2010, in which the number of hours susceptible of payment was limited, establishing a retroactive cut of an 30% on the previously guaranteed. When carried out by means of a Royal Decree Law (the 14 / 2010 of 24 of December), this prevented its processing in the courts directly because the unconstitutionality appeal can not be used directly by the administrated. Yes, on the other hand, it allows measures such as those carried out by foreign investment funds through international arbitration, unconstitutionality appeal by the Governments of the Region of Murcia or Extremadura or the statements made by the European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, contrary to tolerate retroactive measures that, by their nature, entail a phenomenon of legal insecurity that breaks the trust in the Spanish market for the foreigner.
The Government justified these actions as necessary to accelerate the reduction of public subsidies to the renewable sector and tackle the so-called tariff deficit, the deviation between the costs and revenues of the Spanish electricity market, attributed mainly to renewable energy premiums.
On the contrary, the main business associations of the renewable sector and environmental organizations, reject these accusations arguing that only approximately 20% of the deficit is due to the premiums of the special regime, including cogeneration, the rest belonging to other extracosts, such as deviation of electric pool prices, extra peninsular costs and others. They argue, among other reasons, that in the 2000-2008 period the tariff deficit was 8000 million euros higher than the premiums for renewables, or that, for example, the total tariff deficit was already 2008 to 16 000 million euros (an 60% of the current one in 2013), when in Spain the photovoltaic industry had not yet been developed.
According to these same associations, this situation caused a serious contradiction between the objectives of the European Union to promote clean energy, on the one hand, and in Spain, the reality of a low liberalization of the energy sector that prevented the take-off and free competition of renewable energies and distributed generation. At the end of 2014 the photovoltaic power installed in Spain amounted to 4672 MW.
2015 in Spain installed new 49 MW and new 2016 55 MW. The renewable energies cooperative Som Energia has stood out for having put in operation, in April of 2016, the first photovoltaic power station in the country without public aid.
In July of 2017, the Government organized an auction that awarded more than 3500 MW of new photovoltaic power plants, which will allow Spain to achieve the renewable energy generation objectives established by the European Union for 2020. The construction of the awarded plants does not entail any cost for the system due to not having any additional premium.
The economy of Spain is the fifth largest in the European Union and the thirteenth worldwide in nominal terms. In relative terms or of purchasing power parity, it is also among the largest in the world (see Annex: Countries by GDP (PPP)). According to a report by The Economist, Spain is the 10º country in the world with the highest quality of life. As in the economy of all European countries, the tertiary sector or service sector has the greatest weight. The currency of Spain is, from 2002, the euro.
The Spanish economy consolidated in 2015 the recovery process initiated in 2013, real GDP registering an expansive trajectory. In the whole of the year, the GDP grew 3,2%, above the Eurozone GDP (2%).
It is worth highlighting the prolongation of the deleveraging process of the private sector, whose debt has been reduced by 49 percentage points of GDP, from the maximum reached in the middle of 2010 to 2016. The non-consolidated debt of the non-financial private sector is in 2016 at the 2005 end levels and close to the euro area average.
In 2016, the deficit of the Spanish Public Administrations was in the 4,33% of the GDP, fulfilling for the first time since the outbreak of the crisis in 2008, the objective committed with the European Commission. The public debt was in the 2000 year equal to 59% of GDP, it was reduced between 2000 and 2007 up to 36% of GDP, but from that year it was increased until reaching 99% in 2014, motivated by a strong drop in revenues, accompanied by a rise in expenses of public administrations.
The adverse effects of the crisis have generated a significant change in the trend in the distribution of income. Spain, in the period between 2008 and 2011, had not followed the trend of increasing inequality observed in many developed countries, but this exception has been truncated by the intensity of the crisis that has made Spain one of the countries where inequalities have grown more in the years 2008-2013 (OCDE 2013, 2014). In 2017, 0,4% of the population account for almost half of Spain's GDP.
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