Electricity self-consumption increased by 30% in 2020 and domestic installations grew at an “unprecedented” rate

Photovoltaic self-consumption added 596 megawatts (MW) of power in Spain in 2020, according to estimates released this Thursday by the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF), which represents an increase of 30% compared to the 459 MW in 2019 and demonstrates “the resilience of the sector” despite the health and economic catastrophe of the coronavirus.

The employer estimates that most of the new power added in 2020, 2%, corresponds to self-consumption facilities isolated from the grid. 56% of the total has been installed in the industrial sector, 23% in the commercial sector and 19% in the domestic sector, which is equivalent to about 120 MW. This modality, which in 2019 accounted for 10% of the MW installed, “has experienced unprecedented growth,” highlights UNEF.

The employers indicate that the progress in the facilities in the industrial segment “has stabilized” if one takes into account that in 2019 they accounted for 70% of the total. UNEF highlights that “despite being a very complicated year, in which the COVID pandemic produced a large decrease in energy demand in general terms”, families have been able to “opt for this cheaper and cleaner form of energy ”.

“On the one hand, those who have not lost their job or were not affected by an ERTE have been able to save and think about how to invest their money,” says UNEF, who highlights that according to INE statistics the savings rate of families it has gone from 8% to more than 31%, as a consequence of economic uncertainty. Furthermore, “local incentives and the elimination of administrative barriers have been added to the strong disclosure campaigns by companies.”

“In the case of single-family homes in a sunny area, an installation without batteries is an investment that can be recovered in 9 or 10 years. In addition, there are deductions in the IBI and the banks are not giving profitability so their money is better on the roof of the house ”, explains in a note José Donoso, General Director of UNEF.

One of the UNEF priorities is administrative simplification compared to self-consumption. This year there are already 8 Autonomous Communities that have eliminated the building license for rooftop installations and we hope that others will join very soon. “Another, in this case to achieve sustained growth throughout the decade, will inevitably decrease the fixed term of the Spanish electricity bill, the highest in Europe.”


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