The unstoppable growth of photovoltaic energy

It is a fact: photovoltaics in Spain do not stop growing. In fact, at Keyplan we are currently building a photovoltaic installation in the parking lot of an important company located in A Coruña.

In 2019, the Spanish photovoltaic sector was in the Top 1 in Europe and Top 6 in the world, even surpassing Germany. It is admirable that after so many efforts, a sector that was stagnant for the last 10 years, has managed to reverse the situation and chain a sustained growth, year after year.

Evolution of photovoltaics

In mid-July 2020, the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) presented its 2019 Annual Report, where it took stock of the situation of photovoltaic energy in Spain.

With the data in hand, he qualified 2019 as “the best year in history” for the sector, on the grounds that:

  • Spain was last year the European country in which more power was installed.
  • Investments in the photovoltaic industry in Spain account for 65% of the investment necessary to start up a solar installation, that is, we only import the remaining 35%.

Analyzing the data for the first months of 2020, we see that the trend continues to be favorable for the sector, which has undergone a real revolution in recent years, going from being a stagnant sector to a real revolution.

The boost that photovoltaics have received thanks to auctions and the ambitious goals of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) has been the key to the explosion of photovoltaics after a decade of total stagnation.

In fact, the Spanish PNIEC itself has highlighted photovoltaics as the technology that will lead the energy transition and the decarbonization of the electricity sector in Spain. The objective of the Plan is to reach almost 40 GW of photovoltaics in 2030 and to position itself as the second technology in installed capacity, only behind wind power.

Current situation

The UNEF is committed to “the development of the photovoltaic sector as a lever for economic recovery and to mitigate the effect of destruction of employment and productive fabric as a result of Covid-19” based on the privileged situation of Spain compared to other European countries: Spain has a high number of hours of sunshine, has available territory and a national photovoltaic sector that has a solid and competitive industrial base.

More specifically, if we look at the data, more specifically in the production of electricity, the records of photovoltaics have been happening since the beginning of the year. In February, photovoltaic energy surpassed the instantaneous production of nuclear for the first time, and not only that, in the first 7 months of the year, photovoltaic has already produced more electricity than in all of 2019 and 20% more than in all of 2018.

Industry challenges

Despite the enormous growth that photovoltaics has seen in recent years, it still has to face some challenges.

  • It is necessary to promote the digitization of the sector, providing companies with the best 5G technology available, which would allow optimizing manufacturing processes and having smart devices available in solar plants,
  • The holding of competitions in the Just Transition areas should be accelerated to take advantage of the benefits associated with the deployment of renewable energies,
  • It is imperative to reform the design of the electricity bill by reducing the weight of the fixed term, so that consumers can see the savings from self-consumption reflected in their bill,
  • Simplify and digitize administrative procedures at the regional level, eliminating the requirement of a building license and replacing it with prior communication, and
  • Reform the Horizontal Property Law to facilitate the realization of collective self-consumption facilities.