a year of waiting to install them at home
The historic rise in the price of energy and the green transition decided by the European Union have made Spaniards opt for self-consumption in their homes. It is the ‘boom’ of solar panels that in Spain are increasingly affordable and, therefore, more profitable. In 2021, 1 GW of new photovoltaic power was installed in solar panels for this purpose. 102% more than in 2020.. “And in 2022 there will be more than 2 GW”, according to experts.
In December 2021, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge stated that “according to a study by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), self-consumption can reach between 9 GW and 14 GW of installed power in 2030”. But for other institutions this forecast falls short. Among them, the CNMC (National Markets and Competition Commission) itself or José Benjumea, CEO of the European energy self-consumption company Powen, who in an event held this fall together with UNEF (Spanish Photovoltaic Union) and Brookfield Renewable, explained that there is a change in the vision of expectations: “Our forecasts of reaching between 20 and 30 GW are real, because in Spain we enjoy 1,700 hours of sunshine on average a year”.
But this fury for photovoltaic electric self-consumption caused by the crazy prices of electricity has created bottlenecks. First is the individual decision to install the panels that, in the case of neighboring communities, it can be a slow and cumbersome process; then he bureaucratic and permits, which can take two or three months. And finally that of the installation itself. Normally, this is done in less than a week, but the lack of components, batteries and drivers, and the shortage of trained workers and installers, “can delay this process for many weeks or even months”, say sources in the sector. Waiting lists of more than three months in Valladolid or Castellón, of six in Madrid and the central zone, four or five in Salamanca, more than half a year in Valencia and up to one year in Gipuzkoa.
“It is a real madness. We went from having to offer photovoltaic solar energy to almost not being able to take on so much workload. The market has overflowed and we, who a year ago set up 7 or 8 facilities each year, now we have 30 so far this year and we have more than 60 clients on the waiting list. I don’t know if we will arrive because it is also difficult to find workers who are prepared ”, they say from the Galician company, from Pontevedra, Iperdromes. The company calculates that between the lack of material and operators, the wait of customers can currently reach 120 days.
Josep Miro, from the Guild of Installers of Catalonia, explains that “you have to wait between four and eight weeks for the inverters to arrive”, the heart of the photovoltaic installation, since they are in charge of converting the energy generated by the solar panels into what is you can use the stuff. “And if you have seven or eight works pending, you are going to wait three or four months,” he assures before also putting on the table that the slowness of the administrations when it comes to giving permits is also a big problem. “The The bureaucracy is very slow. It takes a long time to process and obtain permits. The administration is collapsed.” judgment.
The installation price of panels for self-consumption has dropped as they have become ‘popular’ and the technology has become more mature. The cost of installation, which usually has a useful life of about 25 or 30 years, varies depending on the levels: from the simplest, only with plates, to the most sophisticated, with batteries. In a single-family home the cost would be between 5,000 and 8,000 euros for an installed power of between 3.5 and 5 or 6 peak kilowatts. In case of installing modular batteries, those that allow energy to be stored, “the price would double,” according to the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF). In buildings, the investment per neighbor can range between 1,000 or 1,500 euros. “In a single-family home or an apartment that spends 100-150 euros a month on electricity the bill can be reduced by up to 30%, 40% or 50%”.
Aid and subsidies for the installation of solar panels are today a incentive when deciding to take the step towards renewable energy. The active subsidies for the period 2021-2023 come from the Next Generation European Union plan and they are managed in Spain through the IDAE, by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge. After a first game with 600 million eurosAid has been increased by 550 million more for the Communities Autonomous regions where these subsidies had run out, such as Andalusia, Aragon, the Balearic Islands, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Galicia, Madrid and the Basque Country. And the Town Halls also offer discounts, for example in the IBI, which make it even more profitable to start consuming your own solar energy.
According to ecco foundationdedicated to promoting self-consumption, “investment is recovered within a period of 5 to 7 years and from there, savings are made for the rest of the useful life of the installation” and “with subsidies” and in large communities in geographical areas with many hours of exposure to the sun, “It can be amortized in just two years.”
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