Many of you who read these stripes might find that solar panels are banned. Well no. Solar panels are not prohibited, neither for producing hot water nor for producing electricity.

Those that are used to produce electricity are the so-called photovoltaics. Photovoltaic solar panels less than 10 kW, for single-family homes or neighborhood communities, pay no taxes, need very little red tape, and are perfectly legal. In the case of solar fields with solar generation of more than 10 kW, installing them is a real crossroads.

The table set up this Friday, with more than 70 agents - administrations, entities and companies - will work to make it easier for citizens to generate their own electricity. It is a table that wants to highlight that Catalonia can make progress in photovoltaic consumption, despite the limiting conditions of Spanish law.

The Generalitat, local administrations and the energy sector have constituted, today, the Promotion Table for Photovoltaic Self-consumption in Catalonia, an instrument that must be used to propose solutions to solve the barriers that currently make it difficult to install. installation of systems that allow citizens to generate their own electricity from renewable sources. The aim is to move, as established in the National Pact for Energy Transition, to a more sustainable and democratic energy model, where the citizen is at the center and can produce, manage and use energy in the same way. more efficient. The event was chaired by the Minister of Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget. The advisor stated that "advancing self-consumption means advancing the democratization of energy".

The function of the table will be to encourage and facilitate the owners of electricity supplies of less than 10 kW - which is about 95% of the total supply in Catalonia - and those who are exempt from called the toll in the Sun, including almost every home user, neighbor community and self-employed person - can envision photovoltaic consumption as another option when it comes to power. For this reason, the table brings together more than 70 agents - regional and local administrations, entities and companies - who have direct competence in matters of work permits and licenses, administrative authorizations, points of connection to the network and contracting with distributors, relationship with the communities of neighbors, taxation of the houses or training of professionals to design and install these systems.

Regarding the economic viability of these facilities, in the face of the legal impossibility established by the Spanish government to use the network as a storage system (what is known as a net balance) or to share the network. With other neighbors, the board also has the challenge of developing domestic electricity storage using batteries. The intention is to establish the mechanisms necessary to encourage citizens to apply energy storage systems associated with their photovoltaic devices, which will include aid to lost funds, of the Catalan Institute of Energy, for the purchase of lithium-ion batteries. In this way, the energy produced in hours of solar radiation can be consumed when the citizen decides. This is how the path to deploying electric storage will begin in Catalonia, which is essential to guarantee a 100% renewable energy model by the 2050 horizon. Aid for the acquisition of batteries associated with solar installations Photovoltaics have a heading of 360,000 euros in the budgets of the Generalitat for 2017.

The table, coordinated by the Catalan Institute of Energy (ICAEN), will be structured into four working groups

  • Connection procedure: a first group will be dedicated to establishing a procedure and technical criteria for the connection to the internal network of the photovoltaic installations, and also to designing a type connection contract for communities of neighbors. The active and positive participation of energy distribution companies is key to the development of the objectives of distributed generation pursued by Catalonia.
  • Public administrations: a second group will work on the harmonization and simplification of the administrative procedures, which correspond to the majority of local administrations and which hinder the development of such facilities to the extent that they reach be banned in some municipal ordinances. Tax incentives that encourage this practice will also be explored.
  • Communication: Another group will focus on the measures needed to disseminate photovoltaic consumption to the public.
  • Storage Systems Aid - A group will work on the design of a lost funding aid system for storage with lithium-ion batteries associated with photovoltaic self-consumption facilities.

The promotion of self-consumption, distributed generation and electric storage are strategic measures to comply with the European Union's energy policies. The European Commission estimates that citizens could produce up to 45% of the total energy demand by 2050. It also considers photovoltaic consumption a must to achieve a 100% renewable future. In addition, self-consumption of electricity from PV has several benefits to the electrical system, such as reducing transport and distribution losses, reducing the saturation of distribution networks, and improving management. of the demand or the contribution to the reduction of the price of energy in the electricity market, among others. If the European Commission's proposed electricity market rules within the framework of the "Clean Energy For All Europeans" strategic package, in the medium term, citizens will be able to sell the energy they produce to the electricity market as an operator month. To make this possible, using storage batteries is a must.

In addition to the Catalan Energy Institute, administrations such as the Generalitat, the Catalan Association of Municipalities, the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona, ​​the Micropobles Association of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council or Girona Provincial Council; companies like Endesa, Baxi, Estabanell, Etecnic, Som Energia, Circutor or UNEF; entities such as the Association of Renewable Energy Professionals of Catalonia (APERCA), CECOT, Solartys, the Energy Efficiency Cluster of Catalonia, the Official College of Architects of Catalonia, the College of Property Administrators of Tarragona or the College of Industrial Technical Engineers of Girona, among others.

The fourth industrial revolution on the planet involves the democratization of energy.