Spain could deploy 3.5GW of additional self-consumption PV thanks to new grants

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Spain deployed nearly 600MW of self-consumption solar last year, according to trade body UNEF. Image: UNEF/Twitter.

New Spanish government grants to support the deployment of self-consumption solar projects could result in 3.5GW of additional capacity, trade association UNEF has suggested.

The policy will allocate €200 million (US$243 million) in support for the residential sector and public administrations, €150 million for industry and the agricultural segment and €100 million for the services sector.

UNEF said the funding, which is expected to be expanded from the initial €450 million package to as much as €900 million in the future, represents “a great opportunity” for self-consumption solar, while helping to drive the country’s economic recovery.

The association estimates that the funds will support 1.4GW of new PV in the industrial segment, 1.6GW in services area and public administrations, and 500MW of residential solar.

The policy support comes after almost 600MW of self-consumption PV projects were deployed in Spain last year, a 30% increase on 2019, thanks in part to strong levels of residential installs. UNEF said at the time that the positive figures were boosted by local incentives for new installations and a reduction in administrative barriers.

With Spain’s regions to be tasked with managing distribution of the newly announced funds, UNEF said it is key that management of the grants is carried out in an “agile and rapid manner”.

Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge also announced last week €110 million in funding to support the deployment of behind-the-meter energy storage assets alongside PV projects. The funding, which could be raised to €220 million, will finance the acquisition of batteries for both new and existing self-consumption solar facilities.

Both funding packages were revealed the same week as Spain’s parliament approved a new climate law, which commits the country to slash emissions 23% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and reach an electricity system with at least 74% renewables generation, compared to the current 40% level. The law also bans new hydrocarbon exploration with immediate effect and prohibits the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2040.

As part of efforts to reach 39.2GW of installed PV by 2030, Spain’s government last year introduced a new renewables auction mechanism, with an auction in January resulting in solar PV bidders picking up two-thirds of the 3GW allocated capacity.

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