A Wasted Decade: How political corruption robbed Spain of success with renewable energies

THE government of Mariano Rajoy (People’s Party) last decade was condemned for corruption. Fact.

In 2018 Spain’s High Court convicted 29 people, including senior officials of the PP, sentencing them to a total of 351 years in prison.

Public contracts were awarded at inflated prices, ‘kick backs’ were rife.

Mariposa Rajoy Juan Carlos Cordin Press
Mariano Rajoy and King Juan Carlos in 2011. (Image: Cordon Press)

In this environment the former state owned monopolies Endesa and Iberdrola were able to influence the introduction of the completely insane Sun Tax, effectively preventing homeowners and businesses from installing solar panels.

Put simply…….if you produce your own electricity you are not buying from them.

The end result was that when this ludicrous law was repealed in October 2018 less than 1,000 rooftops in Spain had solar panels installed.

Compare that to Germany with more than 1 million installations at that point.

By now Spain should not still be reliant on fossil fuels to generate electricity.

This absurdity is now costing us all.

Inflation is back, largely fuelled by soaring electricity and gas prices

  • Inflation last year in Spain was 5.5%.it’s impossible for salaries and pensions to keep pace.
  • The outlook for this year doesn’t look much better.
  • Interest rates will rise (European Central Bank)
  • In December Spanish consumers had to pay 6.7% higher costs than they did in December 2020.
  • Eurozone inflation reached 5% in December.The highest ever on record.
  • On Christmas Day electricity costs were 14 times higher than last year.

All this could have been mitigated if Spain’s progress in installing renewable energy had not been corruptly diverted.

Electricity Pylon Near Burbage, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Electricity pylon near Burbage, Leicestershire, United Kingdom (Image: Cordon Press)

Everywhere else in Europe citizens had the right to generate, consume, store and sell electricity without having punitive taxes and fees.

The former legislation was muscled in by the PP who had a parliamentary majority at the time.

As always, corruption has cost us all.

Since the abolition of the Sun Tax, Spain has pushed forward in taking advantage of the two key free natural resources it has in abundance – sun and wind.

It’s criminal that so much time was lost. We can’t rewind the clock, but we can act quickly now.

No country in Europe is better located to take advantage of renewable energy technologies.

  • We have over 300 days of sunshine a year.
  • We have huge land mass.
  • We have extensive coastal areas.
  • We have wind.

By becoming independent we remove ourselves from the political shenanigans that surround energy supply such as the devious and questionable practices of Putin. (Russia supplies over one quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union).

Another threat is Algeria closing pipelines because of its dispute with Morocco.

In 2021 natural gas prices in the EU have risen as high as 800% from the beginning of the year.

Time to be independent and accelerate the use of renewable energy.


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