A total of 135 MW of new PV capacity was added in Spain in 2017, with a rise by 145% compared to the capacity installed in 2016, 55 MW. The new capacity is for self-consumption, solar plants connected to the grid and off-the-grid installations, especially for rural electrification. This growth was registered, on one hand, thanks to the high competitiveness and the significant cost-reduction of PV technology, and on the other, thanks to the commitment of citizens, companies and the local administration in the fight against climate change.
A great number of companies have decided to install PV because this technology contributes to reduce their electricity costs and to increase their competitiveness.
Moreover, the renewable energy auctions carried out in 2017 in Spain opened up a new era of possibility for the PV sector, with the installation of 3.9 GW by the end of 2019.
However, there is still a huge gap between the situation of the PV sector in Spain and what happens in other European countries, such as Germany, where 1.75 GW of new PV capacity were installed in 2017, Belgium, where 264 MW of new PV capacity were installed in 2017, and the Netherlands, where last year 853 MW were installed in the PV sector.
At international level, China has been confirmed as the leading country in the PV market, with the installation of 52.83 GW of new PV capacity in 2017.
Despite the good news for the Spanish PV sector, the current legislative framework still imposes administrative and economic barriers that prevent self-consumption from developing at its full potential, UNEF reports.
The Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) is the trade association of solar photovoltaic energy in Spain. It represents more than 200 companies and organizations across the value chain of technology, represents more than 85% of the sector’s activity in Spain and unites practically all producers, installers, engineers, manufacturers of raw materials, modules and components and distributors. 2