We have been watching the price of electricity reach all-time highs for weeks . The bad news is that the situation will not change much for the rest of the year and, most likely, it will last until next spring. Why? Fundamentally, for two reasons: the high prices of CO2 emission rights and the rising cost of natural gas.
Therefore, now more than ever, it is time to think about alternatives that allow us to alleviate current price increases and any possible future variation in the market. And one of them is, without a doubt, taking the step towards self-consumption: the best intelligent energy solution when it comes to combining sustainability and savings.It allows the consumer to be empowered, through total control of energy production and consumption, while helping them save on the electricity bill.
Last year 596 MW of new photovoltaic power were installed in self-consumption facilities in Spain -30% more than in 2019, according to UNEF- or, what is the same, the equivalent of the total consumption of some 300,000 homes. Everything indicates that in 2021 we will continue in this line. We may even get over it.
However, and despite the positive impact of solar self-consumption, the Spanish continue to have barriers that prevent them from taking the final step when installing solar panels on their roofs. Which?
According to a study that we have carried out from independent energy, the main reason why they do not dare to take the step is the initial investment (63%), followed by the logistics of the installation -such as permits from the City Council, the duration of works, etc. (53%) -, the cost of maintaining the panels themselves (47%) or because they consider that the technology is not sufficiently developed (23%).
What do these results show us? That there is still a great lack of knowledge on the part of the population regarding energy self-consumption. The facilities are becoming more profitable and the payback periods shorter. In fact, it is possible that the investment can be amortized sooner with the prices of electricity so high, between six and seven years. And, in the meantime, there is a saving in the electricity bill.
On the other hand, there are already 11 autonomous communities that have eliminated the work permit application process for self-consumption facilities. An incentive that is added to the imminent direct granting of subsidies for self-consumption for individuals, by the Autonomous Communities, with an endowment of 200 million euros. An aid that will allow consumers to save between 15% and 50% in the cost of their installation, depending on the contracted power. Not to mention the customized financing solutions offered by companies.
Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the Netherlands, Germany and Spain are the countries that generated the highest share of electricity with solar energy this summer, reaching almost 20%, according to data from the energy research body Ember.
And it is that the Spanish, despite the existing barriers resulting from misinformation, are aware of the advantages of self-consumption. Two sides of the same coin. Continuing with the results of our study, the main benefits indicated are the economic savings in the medium-long term that the installation allows (60%), the existing aid and subsidies (53%), the fact that it is one more option sustainable (45%) or the possibility of selling energy that is not consumed (32%). And they are right.
We are at an ideal time to rethink our way of consuming energy. If we want energy self-consumption to be the solution, it is necessary that the agents involved in the change take responsibility and ensure that consumers are well informed of all the alternatives available in the market.