Solar Panels Spain

Spain, especially Southern Spain, is one of the best places in the world for solar panels because – well, it’s very sunny! If you’re thinking of getting solar panels for your holiday villa or permenant home in Spain, the short answer is: go for it.

In this article we’ll go into more depth into how much they cost, what the return on investment is, whether it’s worth getting PV (solar panels that produce electricity) or hot water panels or both, and lots more.

Solar map of Europe. Hotter colours = more sunlight, better for solar panels. Source: European Commision

How Many People Have Solar Panels in Spain?

I moved to Spain from the UK, and honestly I find it weird that more people don’t have solar panels. With the cost of electricity already very high in Europe and rising more, I expected every roof to be covered in solar panels.

Don’t get me wrong, lot’s of people do have them, just not as many as I would have expected.

Partly that’s because until recently the tax rules for solar panels were not very friendly to say the least…

Tax on Solar Panels in Spain

Until 2018, the Spanish Government imposed a so called ‘sun tax’, which scared away lots of people from installing solar panels.

Many people believed they would have to pay a tax on any electricity they used themselves, from their own solar panels. Which does sound quite crazy.

The reality was a bit more nuanced than that, and in fact most systems under 10kW would not have been taxed. 10kW is more than most homes need, so it shouldn’t have impacted the market as much as it did.

However the amount of paperwork and burrecracy that homeowners and solar panel installers needed to crawl through was huge. That and the seemingly vague and complex nature of this law, effectively scared off most people who otherwise would have bought solar. Some people even believed that solar panels were illegal in Spain.

One solar installation company interviewed by Green Tech Media said he “had one member of his 10-person team working full-time just on meeting the RD 900/2015 paperwork requirements for a trickle of residential PV system applications”.

Luckily that law is now gone, but the market hasn’t fully caught up. Many people aren’t even aware that this law is no longer around.

Solar Panel Grants in Spain

Solar panel grants in Spain are managed by the Autonomous Communities. Solar panel grants in Andalusia are some of the most generous, and at the time of writing are available until December 2023.