The Spanish Government has been dealt a taxing blow this week as the Comisión Nacional de la Energía, or CNE, has objected to their plans to tax solar energy.

The energy commission has asked Minister José Manuel Soria to edit the draft decree of electrical consumption, claiming that plans to tax solar power are “discriminatory”, and that they “violate European regulations on renewable energy”, as they fail to recognise the benefits associated with the energy generated in a decentralised manner.

The Ministry had imposed a tax to clean energy, specifically photovoltaic and wind, with a level the Cne claim is so high that it prevents any development of these renewable energy sources in spain. Significantly, the Cne has called on the government to eliminate the tax.

The Government justified the tax by saying that renewable energy producers benefit from electrical system when they connect to the network and at times when solar power generation is reduced, the general network covers the cost.

The Cne argues that this tax change makes projects unviable, which contravenes EU directives on energy efficiency. The Ministry has sought to block the development of clean energy consumption just as photovoltaic panels have become 80% cheaper five years, and in many cases it is cheaper for companies to self produce power.

Many projects, such as those established in hotels and small industries, are already feasible without having to sell their excess or seek financial investment. The proposal includes costs that are so high, it would not be “economically feasible” for the supply and subsistence of production, says the report.

The Cne also disagrees with the idea that self produced clean energy should be used to subsidise the debts of the electricity network, 26 billion euro in May 2013. The Cne said the proposed royal decree “sacrifices economic efficiency and long-term growth for the sake of short-term economic sustainability”, as the government seeks to recover costs that largely predate the own consumption and are not attributable to the eco-friendly supply.

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