Spain Promotes Solar Self-consumption In A New Photovoltaic Era

A new measure by the Sánchez Government to accelerate the deployment of solar energy in Spain. The green light is given to collective self-consumption and discounts on the bills of Spanish consumers.

The new measures in relation to solar self-consumption could lead to the installation of 400 MW of new photovoltaic power per year.

End of the problems in Spanish photovoltaics.

With the decree approved on April 5, 2019, the Government of Pedro Sánchez eliminates the problems imposed on solar self-consumption, inaugurating the new era of national photovoltaics.

The measure, proposed by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, concludes the work begun last year to eliminate the measures of the former executive of Mariano Rajoy. Under his leadership, the country has trampled on the photovoltaic sector, forcing producers to pay grid access fees, preventing the distribution of production facilities among multiple users, and requiring the owners of facilities of between 10 and 100 kW of capacity that transfers excess electricity to the grid for free instead of selling it.

All these measures had caused a sharp decline in investments and new photovoltaic installations, making Spain, years ago queen of the sun, one of the countries with the least investment in this sector.

New regulation.

The change of administration, however, has brought new energy policies. The first measure approved was Royal Decree Law 15/2018, which repealed the so-called sun tax. Today the Government completes the regulatory framework with a new law that opens the door to collective solar self-consumption and establishes a simplified mechanism to compensate for the energy produced.

Specifically, the Royal Decree approved by the Council of Ministers on April 5 offers several consumers the possibility of associating themselves with the same generation plant with rules that allow the configuration of collective facilities from 500 meters from the point of consumption or the possibility for citizens to meet in energy groups.

Another novelty is the implementation of a simplified mechanism to compensate for surpluses, that is, the energy generated by self-consumption facilities and that the user does not consume instantly. The text establishes that from now on citizens will be directly compensated by public services through equivalent discounts on electricity bills, also eliminating all bureaucratic and fiscal burdens previously provided for small prosumers (installations up to 15kW to 100kW) .

“The Royal Decree – says a note from the Ministry of Ecological Transition – allows self-consumption in Spain, giving the possibility of facilities that, until now, were not covered. As indicated in the explanatory note of the decree, the boost to self-consumption will have a “positive effect on the economy in general, on the electricity and energy system and on consumers.” According to estimates by the Spanish Photovoltaic Association, the legislation could help stimulate 400 MW of new photovoltaic plants per year in self-consumption mode.

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