The Council of Ministers approved on Friday, at the proposal of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, the Royal Decree that regulates the administrative, technical and economic conditions of self-consumption in Spain, which among other things enables the figure of collective self-consumption, to promote it in communities of owners or industrial estates; reduces administrative procedures, especially in the case of small self-consumers; and, what is more important, it establishes a simplified mechanism of compensation for self-produced and non-consumed energy.
Together with the Strategy against Energy Poverty, also approved this Friday, the decree aims to "put citizens at the center of the new energy system," in the words of the Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, who stressed that self-consumption , which "became infamous as a result of the sun tax" introduced by the PP, has been "expanding in all European countries" and has "enormously positive effects", in terms of price reduction and evolution from a system " enormously centralized "and with passive consumers to another in which" networked "and consumers interact with each other.
According to Ecological Transition, the norm "makes self-consumption feasible in Spain", allowing for possibilities not yet contemplated and will have a "positive effect on the general economy, on the electrical and energy system and on consumers" by encouraging economic activity and local employment, because of its distributed nature.
According to Ecological Transition, the take-off of self-consumption will favor the electrification of the economy, allowing Spain to fulfill its obligations in the fight against climate change; "will offer an alternative to citizens, which can be more economically advantageous than traditional energy consumption"; and it will allow the entrance of new actors, and of the own citizenship, into the electrical system.
The Royal Decree, which was foreseen in a Royal Decree Law on urgent measures approved in October, has been approved on the eve of the start of the electoral campaign and classifies and defines the different types of self-consumption.
Until now, there was only one possibility: individual self-consumption connected to an internal network. Now the figure of collective self-consumption is enabled, so that several consumers can be associated to the same generation plant, to promote this solution in communities of owners or between companies or industries located in the same location.
In addition, the concept of "production facility close to consumption and associated to them" is defined. With this figure, self-consumption is allowed in generation facilities located in the same house -as so far-, and in others located in the vicinity. Thus, for example, photovoltaic panels may be installed in adjacent buildings that have better orientation, as long as there is agreement between the parties.
The decree contemplates a simplified mechanism of surplus compensation: that energy generated by self-consumption facilities and that the user does not consume instantly. Until now, if the self-consumer wanted to obtain compensation for this energy that is injected into the network, it should be constituted legally as an energy producer, with the relevant procedures and tax declarations. Now, the energy trader will compensate the user for the surplus energy in each invoice
This mechanism is applicable for installations with a power not exceeding 100 kilowatts (kW), and provided that they produce electricity from renewable sources. The financial compensation can reach up to 100% of the energy consumed by the user in that month.
In the case of collective self-consumption, the door is opened for a consumer to take advantage of his neighbor's surplus and co-participate in his own consumption if he is not using his proportional share of energy.
Thus, a static system of distribution of the energy generated among the associated consumers is established (it is always distributed in the same proportion among consumers, regardless of whether they are using it or not), which does not allow a user who is in house at that time use the surplus of another that is not using its corresponding share of energy. But a future development of distribution of dynamic self-consumption is foreseen, which would allow an optimum use of the potential of shared self-consumption.
The standard establishes that by means of a ministerial order, the necessary mechanisms and requirements will be developed to allow the implementation of dynamic distribution coefficients. "This means that the energy that is generated in a shared system can be shared among users depending on who is consuming at each moment, and therefore a better use of the facility", explain ministry sources.
The norm also opens the possibility that all marketers can offer renewable self-consumption services. The National Commission of Markets and Competition, which has validated this measure, will supervise the evolution of the market and, should competition problems arise, "may propose to the Government the establishment of restrictions on certain companies".
Reduction of procedures
The Royal Decree reduces administrative procedures for all users. In the case of the small self-consumer (installations of up to 15kW or up to 100kW, in case of self-consumption without surpluses), they are reduced to a single management: notify the installation of an electricity production plant in its corresponding community or autonomous city.
The state registry will be powered by the information sent by the regional administrations. In addition, for installations of less than 100kW in low voltage, administrations will collect information from the electrical installation certificate data. Likewise, a procedure is articulated so that the distributor is the one who modifies the access contract of the small consumers who carry out self-consumption and this only has to express their consent.