Is self-consumption shared in Spain a reality?

El autoconsumo compartido en España, ¿es ya una realidad?As we mentioned in this blog, a couple of months ago, shared self-consumption is already a reality in Spain. Recently, the Constitutional Court repealed articles 19, 20, 21 and 22 of RD 900/2015, which finally opened its doors.

Specifically, the following section ceased to have effect “In no case can a generator be connected to the internal network of several consumers” (section 3, article 4), because it understands that it prevents the autonomous communities from exercising their powers to promote this type of facilities. “

But do not sing victory prematurely since this is only the first step towards self-consumption among neighbors, towards the net balance and towards the democratization of energy.

How does this modification affect the current situation of shared self-consumption?

The things clear and the chocolate thick. Although in some media it has been emphasized that this change completely opened its doors, I regret to tell you that the reality is not exactly like that, but it is the first stone on the road. Let’s go, then, to the heart of the matter.

The article repealed by the TC, all it did was to highlight what the rule does not allow. There is no term that defines the shared neighborhood network or any other similar name that might have so that in effect practices, this repeal of the TC has no consequence. We are facing a legal vacuum.

If we continue to investigate in legal matters, RD 1699/2011 and RD 1955/2000, as well as the Law of the Electricity Sector, maintain that it is forbidden to request a single connection point for several consumers that share a facility if they want to pour the surplus into a network .

What can we do to remedy it and make it a reality?

The ideal would be a reform at the state level that would allow us to adapt to the needs of consumption and the evolution of technologies, but it is an option that does not make sense in a short-term way. Therefore, it is necessary that the autonomous communities with powers in energy matters come into play and feel precedent. The ball is now on its roof.

Catalonia has taken the lead and in Barcelona recently the first shared installation has been carried out in a community of neighbors.

On the other hand, we must put ourselves in the worst scenario. As you all know, electric companies will not be able to do anything easily and probably try to delay self-consumption for neighborhood communities . Therefore, carrying out an installation of solar panels of this type without a defined regulatory framework can have consequences, since they could include charges that had to be paid retroactively. Personally, I am of the opinion that the current RD 900/2015 – the famous sun tax – will be the most unfavorable regulations that we will see.

There are unknowns that have not been totally clear. Facilities larger than 10 kW must pay the corresponding tolls, but in the case of shared self-consumption, to what or to whom does the limitation of 10 kW apply? That is to say, the total size of installation of solar panels must be 10 kW or each neighbor of the community will be entitled to enjoy 10 kW without charges and in this way the size of installation allowed would be 10kW for the number of neighbors.

A better future is feasible and it is getting closer

Despite the stagnation in the negotiations between Citizens and Government to repeal the famous Royal Decree, we must not lose hope. Europe pushes.

European regulations allow the sharing of facilities for both urbanizations and neighborhood communities and the net balance. The net balance is a form of use and payment of energy . The consumer generates his own electricity and can compensate for the excess of photovoltaic energy discharged to the network, so that he can dispose of that excess at another time. Pay for the energy you pour into the network! Currently in Spain, you can pour energy but without any kind of remuneration, nonsense.

Will 2018 be the year of solar energy and electric self-consumption?

It is a question that I dare not answer, but one day will come a day in which we can generate and share our energy and the net balance become a reality. It is imperatively necessary to break with the current centralized energy model.

In the future, the installations of solar panels relocated within the same municipality will be allowed. What does this mean? Well, if a municipality has a public building with a lot of space on the roof, it can be made available to interested neighbors to take advantage of this solar energy installation. However, they must pay a small toll for the transport of energy from the roof to the point of consumption

We are heading to a future where energy will be free and of all. It is a slow process, and from SotySolar we will continue to close our shoulders to accelerate this future. It is only necessary to remember that the sun is our main asset to be energy independent as a state, and it is the best tool we have to comply with our environmental commitments.