The Government proposes to use public buildings to promote self-consumption and reduce energy poverty

The Government proposes to use public buildings to promote self-consumption and reduce energy poverty

The Government has consulted the long-awaited Self-Consumption Roadmap, which states that this solution reach in 2030 the 9,000 megawatts (MW) installed in an "objective" setting. The document puts a good part of that deployment to rest in the commercial sector, with 5.8 gigawatts (GW) in the next decade. But he also expects a strong boost in the residential segment: about 2 GW, equivalent to the power of two nuclear power plants. In addition, it trusts the potential of self-consumption to alleviate energy poverty.

The draft, open for comments until November 29, emphasizes that this solution, and especially collective self-consumption, "can act as a mitigation tool, reducing the electricity bill and energy dependence, for example, in housing park promotions. public ". It proposes to use it together with storage equipment "in buildings of vulnerable consumers, which would help reduce the bill, serving as an indirect structural measure against energy poverty."

One of the measures proposed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition is to promote the creation of collective self-consumption facilities of a social nature aimed at the vulnerable population in a situation of energy poverty to reduce their energy costs. "It will be promoted that these collective self-consumption are located in public buildings near the areas with the highest energy poverty index so that the use of spaces on public roofs can be taken advantage of," says the document.

It is an idea recently launched by the Balearic Government, with the creation of a public electricity company based on shared self-consumption that plans to install six plants for that purpose this year alone, with the aim of supplying public buildings and vulnerable families in the immediate surroundings. Joan Groizard, the current director general of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), comes from the Balearic Islands, who has played a key role in drawing up this strategy.

The ministry's roadmap proposal underlines that "the availability of public roofs (sports centers, leisure centers, etc.) allows the design of collective self-consumption projects to provide safe, non-polluting and cheap energy to vulnerable citizens." "As a collateral benefit, self-consumption dedicated to this purpose improves other indicators such as the number of families that require the support of social services; by reducing their energy bill, these families have higher disposable income and, therefore, require less social support" , Add.

The characteristics of photovoltaic solar technology (modularity, simplicity and speed of installation, flexibility in the use of spaces) and wind power (with a high ratio of installed power per surface used, ease of sharing the space with other technologies and activities ...) "and the availability of solar resources and wind resources in the same locations where the problem of energy poverty occurs, make these technologies the most appropriate for carrying out self-consumption projects for this purpose".

The document recalls that distributed generation and self-consumption appear in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) "as a fundamental tool to advance in the end to poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and perspectives of people around the world" . For this reason, the fight against energy poverty is one of the "priority areas of deployment" that it contemplates, together with the so-called just transition zones (such as the territories of the old coal plants) and the island territories and isolated areas.

Those 9 GW of self-consumption that the document raises in the "objective" scenario represent 5.5% of the installed power (160 GW) contemplated in the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC). It sets a target of 122 GW of renewable generation by 2030, of which 39 GW will be photovoltaic. This is the source with the most potential for self-consumption. In the residential segment, the "target" scenario of the draft proposes to install a total of 1.9 GW of self-consumption in the multi-family segment by 2030 and only 0.1 GW in the single-family segment.

The document indicates that, taking into account only the residential segment and the low voltage commercial segment, "with the incorporation of storage only in this sector, the economic potential for self-consumption in the target scenario could increase in 2030 by approximately 2.39 GW, fundamentally thanks to the expectations of cost reduction "of the batteries.

The most optimistic forecast or "high penetration" scenario is that a total of 14 GW will be installed, of which 4.7 GW would be among residential consumers. In this case, it is proposed that 70% of the rented homes have solutions of this type.

The least optimistic scenario is that a total of 4 GW will be installed, slightly lower than the 4.3 GW calculated in 2019 by the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC).

The great niche of self-consumption is in the commercial segment, with 5.8 GW in the target scenario and up to 7.7 in the high penetration one. It is the type of consumer with the most potential "due to the need to optimize energy costs and the coincidence between the main hours of commercial activity and the moment of maximum generation of photovoltaic solar energy, which allows a good coupling between generation and demand".

This would also explain why the expected deployment is greater in the autonomous communities with greater economic strength and more populated.


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