Subsidy Hunters: Solar Companies Quit Spain For Britain

  • Date: 03/03/14
  • Graham Keeley, The Times

One country is blessed with sol, sol, sol most of the year. The other is renowned for its appalling weather. However, despite the home-grown meteorological advantage, Spanish solar companies prefer Britain’s business climate.

Up to 12 Spanish companies involved in the photovoltaic solar panel sector have chosen to expand in the UK in the past three years as their home market has declined.

Spain’s centre-right Government ended generous incentives for the renewable energy industry when it came to power in 2011.

Under the previous Socialist Government, the solar sector had received state incentives, sparking a “gold rush” of renewable energy companies that tried to cash in on the state aid.

Now many Spanish companies have chosen to expand in Britain because of the government incentives on offer.

Not even the absence of guaranteed sunshine has put them off, as photovoltaic panels depend on the amount of daylight, rather than sunshine.

In the UK, solar energy projects with an installed capacity of 5 megawatts can receive financial incentives from the Government, which provide an annual return of about £500,000.

Those with an installed capacity of 10 megawatts or more can enjoy annual returns of about £1.2 million.

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