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The last two years have seen been a major growth in the generation of renewable electricity for self-consumption. This is partly due to a new legal framework that provides users with renewed security and certainty, removing a series of charges that constituted an obstacle to development in this area. Another key factor has been the dramatic fall in the cost of solar photovoltaic technology, which is widely used in self-consumption facilities.

Royal Decree 244/2019, of 5 April 2019 completes the legislation on electrical self-consumption, as promoted under Royal Decree-Law 15/2018, of 5 October 2018, which in turn amended Royal Decree 900/2015, of 9 October 2015. It develops keys aspects of self-consumption:

  • It sets out the administrative, technical and economic conditions for electricity self-consumption.
  • It defines off-site self-consumption installations and differentiates between on-grid and off-grid installations,
  • It develops on individual and collective self-consumption,
  • It differentiates between self-consumption installations with and without surpluses.
  • Depending on how the surpluses are used, it also divides the installations into installations availing of simplified compensation between the consumer's deficits and their surpluses from associated self-consumption installations, and installations that sell the surpluses on to the grid,
  • It organises the administrative registration of electricity self-consumption, and the procedure involved, which will involve no administrative charge for consumers.
Panel solar Paneles azotea

For several decades now, Ente Vasco de la Energía has promoted renewable power generation installations for self-consumption, including all forms of renewable power (photovoltaic, wind, biomass, marine technologies, etc.). To date, the most common technology for this purpose has been solar photovoltaic.

Through an agreement with the Basque Government's education department, Ente Vasco de la Energía has fitted more than 170 photovoltaic plants on the roofs of publicly-owned secondary schools in the Basque Country, with an average capacity of 5 kWp. The project is also intended to raise awareness among schoolchildren as to the advantages of renewable energy.

In light of the success of the project, Ente Vasco de la Energía has extended collaboration to other public authorities in the Basque Country. Nearly 50 photovoltaic plants, with varying capacity, have been fitted on the roofs of buildings owned by both the Basque Government and local authorities. Amongst the most important examples are the installations in various faculties of the University of the Basque Country, such as the Schools of Pharmacy, Education and Sport (Vitoria / Gasteiz), Economics and Business Studies and Engineering (Bilbao), and Architecture and Psychology (Donostia / San Sebastian). Equipment has also been installed on buildings owned by the public sector company SPRI, the Zamudio and Miñano Technology Parks, with capacities of over 200 kWp and municipal sports complexes in a number of towns in the region. Total installed capacity created under the scheme comes to over 5 MWp.

Finally, Ente Vasco de la Energía has also promoted installation of solar photovoltaic plants for self-consumption in homes, companies and buildings in the public and services sectors, offering non-repayable grants on investment.

In 2018 Ente Vasco de la Energía provided €430,000 in grants to 78 facilities, with a total installed capacity of 1.2 MWp.

In 2019, 292 installations were subsidised, with a total installed capacity of 8.0 MWp, with grants in excess of 1.890.000 €.

The new legislation favours the development of shared self-consumption, opening the door to the creation of energy communities, where active customers capable of generating and consuming their own energy can exchange their surpluses with other members of the energy community.

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