“El sol puede ser tuyo” (“The sun can be yours”) was the slogan adopted in 2006 by the Spanish government to encourage small-time investors to buy into solar farms throughout Spain. In the years following, many small-time investors (like Juan Antonio Cabrero featured in this documentary) took out loans for 100,000 Euros or more to invest in solar farms.
The Spanish government promised investors a return on their money that, in Cabrero’s case, would help pay for his retirement. But successive laws starting in 2010 cut the returns by more than 50 percent, although the loans that investors had taken out remained in place.
In addition, in 2013 the Spanish government added a seven percent tax to the approximately 30 percent income tax that all energy producers (including small-time investors) already were paying. However to protect small producers, the government of Navarra (where Cabrero lives), decided not to implement this additional seven percent tax. The government of Navarra was able to reject collecting the tax thanks to the autonomous region’s special taxation status.
In response to the government cuts in subsidies and to the taxes on energy production, Juan Antonio Cabrero and others founded the Asociación Nacional de Productores de Energía Fotovoltaica (ANPIER) to represent what the organization says are 62,000 small-time investors in solar energy. On June 21, 2014, about 10,000 ANPIER supporters marched from the Santiago Bernabéu soccer stadium in Madrid to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism to protest the change in government laws.