April 12, 2010
By Todd White
A Spanish trade group called on authorities to investigate possible fraud among solar-power generators after a news report said that some were getting paid for producing power at night.
ASIF wants the “identification, charges and rigorous application of the law” applied to any power producer guilty of such practices, the Madrid-based association for Spain’s photovoltaic-panel industry said today in a statement.
An audit of solar-power generation from November 2009 to January 2010 found that some panel operators were paid for doing the “impossible” — producing electricity from sunlight during the night, El Mundo reported today, citing a letter from Secretary of State for Energy Pedro Marin.
Officials at Marin’s office in Madrid weren’t immediately available for comment.
“ASIF regrets that, with relative frequency, supposed photovoltaic fraud is leaked to the press — with harmful consequences for the public image of the sector — which later don’t translate into any public case that identifies the guilty,” the group said.
Preliminary evidence shows some solar stations may have run diesel-burning generators and sold the output as solar power, which earns several times more than electricity from fossil fuels, El Mundo said, citing unidentified people from the energy industry. The power grid received 4,500 megawatt-hours of power from midnight to 7 a.m. in the months audited, El Mundo said.