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 to discounts on bills for Spanish consumers.

The new measures relating to solar self-consumption could lead to the installation of 400 MW of new photovoltaic energy per year.

End of Spanish photovoltaic problems.

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

The measure, proposed by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, concludes the work started last year to eliminate the measures of the former executive of Mariano Rajoy. Under his leadership, the country trampled the photovoltaic sector, forcing producers to pay grid access charges, preventing the distribution of generation facilities among multiple users, and requiring owners of facilities with a capacity of between 10 and 100 kW which transfers the surplus electricity to the grid for free instead of selling it.

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

New regulations.

The change of administration, however, brought new energy policies. The first measure approved was Royal Decree 15/2018, which repealed the so-called solar tax. Today, the government is completing the regulatory framework with a new law that opens the door to collective solar self-consumption and sets up a simplified mechanism for compensating the energy produced.

Concretely, the Royal Decree approved by the Council of Ministers on April 5 offers several consumers the possibility of joining the same production plant with regulations allowing the configuration of collective installations 500 meters from the point of consumption or the possibility for citizens to come together in energy groups.

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

“The royal decree – indicates a note from the Ministry of Ecological Transition – authorizes self-consumption in Spain, giving the possibility of installations which, until now, were not covered. As indicated in the explanatory note to the decree, the revival of 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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