After some delay which threw Spain’s solar industry into disarray, the government has announced the first round of solar projects that have been accepted under the country’s feed in tariff program for 2009.
As with Ontario, Canada’s solar experience, the Spanish government underestimated the interest in solar power with their original feed in tariff program. According to Greentech Media, the first feed-in tariff was launched back in 2007 with a goal of 400 megawatts capacity to be installed by 2010. Spain had installed 344 megawatts by September of 2007 and the government suspended the program.
Under the new program, the government was still overwhelmed with applications, leading to a month’s delay in publishing the register and the loss of more than 15,000 jobs, according to Thomas Dias from the Spanish Photovoltaic Industry Association (ASIF).
Under the new feed in tariff program, owners of small rooftop grid connect solar power systems will be paid an AUD equivalent of 67 cents per kilowatt hour produced. The program will work under a gross feed in tariff model, whereby the rate will be payable on all power produced as opposed to a net model where only surplus electricity generated is eligible for the premium payment.
The total number of registered solar power projects accepted for this round represents 88.69 megawatts production capacity. Spain’s target for new capacity during 2009 is 500 megawatts. Spain is a global leader in solar power, having added more than 3 gigawatts worth of new solar power in 2008 alone. Like Germany, the driving force behind the rapid uptake has been a gross feed in tariff system.