Spain's PV org wants tech neutral auctions twice a year after banner 2019
The Puertollano 2 solar park. Source: Renovalia Energy Group
Spanish photovoltaic (PV) association Union Espanola Fotovoltaica (UNEF) has called for renewable energy auctions to be held twice a year for the country to meet the ambitions set out in the national energy and climate plan (NECP).
In the presentation of the 2019 annual report, the organisation proposed the auctions to be technologically neutral and held under the pay-as-bid model.
Spain installed 4,201 MW of ground-mounted PV plants in 2019, much of it thanks to auctions conducted in 2017, and 459 MW of self-generation arrays. With no new auctions held since, UNEF estimated 2 GW to 3 GW of ground-mounted solar and some 600 MW of self-generating plants would be installed in 2020.
With the COVID-19 pandemic erupting and no auctioned capacity as a reference, UNEF said it would be hard to project how much will be connected this year.
Last year’s installation growth was a record for Spain, enabling it to be the number one PV market in Europe and sixth in the world, according to UNEF’s report.
The PV sector directly contributed EUR 3.22 billion (USD 3.67bn) to Spain’s GDP, accounting for 0.26% in 2019, up from 0.22% recorded the year before. The economic impact of the sector’s exports is estimated at EUR 3.54 billion, up 54% on the year. Additionally, employment figures grew last year, reaching 58,699 jobs, including, direct, indirect and knock-on jobs, from a total of 45,136 in 2018, UNEF said.
To ensure the continued PV development, parliamentary parties should have to come together and swiftly pass the law on climate change and energy transition to equip the sector with legal stability, the association added.
UNEF also finds it essential to promote the digitalisation of the PV sector and 5G technology to boost the development of ground-mounted plants.
Among its proposals for self-generation, UNEF called for reducing the share of the fixed charge component of the electric bill so that consumers can see the savings that PV arrays can bring, as well as eliminating the required building licence and replacing it with prior notice.
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