April 8 (Renewables Now) - The Spanish government approved on Friday a royal decree (RD) that regulates administrative, technical and economic conditions of self-consumption, creating simplified procedures for citizens and businesses to install their own electricity generation systems.
The new RD uses as a base the royal decree-law (RDL) 15/2018, a set of emergency measures aimed at curbing high electricity prices and easing the administrative process regarding the installation of self-consumption systems. While the said RDL tacked several issues, including measures addressing energy poverty and consumer protection, it is commonly known as the law that repealed “the sun tax”, a series of tolls that ended up halting the installation of renewable energy self-consumption schemes.
According to the Spanish ministry for ecological transition, the administrative procedures are reduced for all consumers, particularly for those who install small-capacity systems.
One of the novelties in the new regulation is the concept of collective self-consumption. This measure opens the door for a community of households or businesses to install and benefit from a single generation scheme. It also defines the concept of production facilities close to the self-consumption enabling consumers, households and businesses alike, to install a generation system at a convenient, nearby location. Until now, consumers were only allowed to install solar panels, for example, on their own property.
Another novelty is a simplified mechanism regarding the compensation for the surplus electricity that is injected into the grid. Previously, if the owner of the self-consumption installation wanted to be compensated for the surplus, he or she had to register as an electricity producer and, consequently, jump through a series of administrative and tax hoops. The new regulation specifies that in the cases of installations not exceeding 100 kW, the utility will compensate the self-consumer through each monthly bill, provided they generate electricity from a renewable source.
The ministry said that the new RD would make self-consumption schemes feasible in Spain, while the wide-spread installations would have a positive effect on the economy, the electricity system and consumers.
The ministry for ecological transition presented the RD on January 29 seeking public feedback. The current government managed to approve it before the general elections that will take place on April 28.