Spain Retroactive Feed-in Tariff Cut Challenges To Be Heard By Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in Spain — the Tribunal Supremo — has reportedly invited the Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF) to a meeting to discuss the organization’s recent legal challenge to the country’s decision to retroactively cut solar subsidies.

Spain solar protestersThe move suggests that UNEF may soon be getting its day in court, and that the rather unpopular decision to retroactively cut FiT payments may go somewhere. Well, possibly anyways. It’s also possible that nothing will come of it.

UNEF’s energy policy director, Pedro Palencia, recently confirmed the reports, stating: “Overall, there have been more than 300 lawsuits to the Supreme Court. However, the court is considering to only allow a handful going forward, setting the case for the rest too. UNEF’s lawsuit is very important and may decide for the whole sector.”

As we’ve reported on previously, Spain recently passed a bill that will see retroactive limits placed on the financial returns that investors can collect on solar PV projects. It should go without saying that such legislation has the potential to completely crush the country’s solar industry, and almost certainly damage the wider investment market there as well.

Commenting further, Palencia noted the limits to UNEF’s legal abilities to reduce the application of laws: “This is only available for the defensor del pueblo or regional governments, and the court to judge cases is the Constitutional Court.”

So, in other words, this meeting with the Supreme Court is pretty much UNEFs only option for dealing with the recent legislation.

UNEF is currently being represented legally by the international law firm Watson, Farley & Williams.

Related: Spain Solar Workers Protests Outside Prison

Image Credit: Solar Tradex

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's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.