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29 MAY 2019 | CINCODÍAS - EL PAÍS ECONOMÍA

Spain, key of the European solar sector

IGNACIO BLANCO CUESTA | CEO  UNIVERGY INTERNATIONAL

Tsukuba Mirai | Peak Power: 2.4MW | COD Date: 2014

“There is a total energy transformation that goes beyond electricity and includes end use areas”.

LThe EU is actively backing the evolve of Europe towards a society with low carbon emissions and updating its regulations in order to facilitate public and private investments that the transition to clean energies requires, but this process will not be only positive for the continent and the planet, but also will be beneficial for the economy and the consumers.

According to several analysts from the sector, it is expected that the installed capacity of solar energy throughout Europe will vary from 9.5 GW in 2018 to 13.5 GW (+42,1%) at the end of 2019, which will lead the EU to have the 12% of the world solar market. Last December, the European Union strengthened even more its commitment to clean energies because it asked the members to increase the share of the renewable energies from the originally established 27% by 2030 to 32%.

The implementation of solar energy in Europe has also been driven by the elimination of duties to the solar panels made in China by the European Comission, which means that the panels price has been reduced by 30%, so the EU solar energy market is expected to rise until 11,000 millions euros this year. Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands will be the countries that grow the most, since each of them expect to achieve a rise of more than 1 GW in installed capacity during this year.

Currently, two countries generate more than half of the whole solar energy in Europe, Germany (38%) and Italy (17%), the third one is United Kingdom (11%), then France (7%) and Spain (5%) in the fifth place, it only contributed 750 MW in the last six years.

Renewable energy is now the solution for the countries that want to support economic growth and job creation, as well as for those seeking to limit carbon emissions, expand access to energy, reduce air pollution and improve energetic security.

Apart from the clear evidence concerning the generation of renewable energies, a complete energy transformation is also taking place that goes beyond electricity that includes end use sectors (self-consumption), such as commercial, industrial and residential (heating, refrigeration, transport and agricultural irrigation), where there is a substantial opportunity for the growth of photovoltaic renewable energies, especially in our country.

The segmentation of the European solar market has significantly changed in the last two years, which has meant that the installed solar systems have been carried out around 26% on roofs in the residential sector, around 18% on commercial roofs, while it reached 20% in the industrial sectors, and accounted for up to 36% in the electricity market. However, Spain is still at a disadvantagous position with respect to the other European countries (third to last) due to legislative reasons of the recent past, which makes the segmentation of the Spanish photovoltaic solar market of great intensity in dependence of the electricity sector, with 80%, while it represents 10% in commercial roofs, 6% in the industrial sector and only 4% in the domestic sector.

Spain will be the country that leads the European growth of the photovoltaic sector (with more than 8 GW), for which it will call up investments of between 60,000 and 70,000 million euros in order to be able to reach the target of 35% in renewable energy by the end of 2030, above the 32% average set by the European Union by 2030, which means doubling the current levels of 17%.

Last year, 261.7 megawatts (MW) of new photovoltaic power were installed in Spain, 94% more compared to 2017 and almost 500% more compared to the photovoltaic power installed in 2016 (55 MW).

Spanish companies in the photovoltaic sector are willing to contribute in a feasable way to the proposed goal, they have the opportunity and the will to invest and turn this energy transition process into a commitment to generate economic wealth, jobs and promote industrial, rural and residential development . 

Ignacio Blanco Cuesta is president and CEO of Univergy International

 

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