Andalusia continues to make progress in its Energy Strategy for Andalusia 2020, whose objectives are: to reduce primary energy consumption by 25%, to contribute 25% of gross final energy consumption with renewable energies, to self-consume 5% of electrical energy generated with renewable sources, to decarbonise energy consumption by 30% compared to 2007 and to improve the quality of energy supply by 15%.
In Torres y Ribelles we are pleased to inform, as an extension to our article: Torres y Ribelles is committed to sustainable energy development, that once the test period is over, our photovoltaic plant has been put into operation at full capacity and we have managed to generate 40% of the energy consumed with it. Our goal for 2024 is to cover 60% of our energy consumption with self-produced renewable energy.
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Finance, Industry and Energy on the energy situation in the region, Andalusia "has a highly diversified electricity generation park" with a total power of 15,766.7 MW. Of these, 39% are from renewable energies, 38% from combined gas cycles, 13% from coal-fired power stations, 6% from cogeneration and waste, and 4% from pumping stations.
With this energy mix, all the agents involved in the sector highlight the opportunity that solar energy represents for Andalusia. "We are the autonomous community with the most solar surface area", the Regional Ministry presumes. This is confirmed by Jorge Jiménez Luna, director of the Andalusian Energy Agency (AAE), who assures that "the expectations that Andalusia has right now are impressive in terms of renewable projects. We have thousands of applications to install photovoltaic plants. There is demand for 26,000 MW of new projects".
For the director of the AAE, one of the keys to the success of solar energy in Andalusia is the lowering of costs, which have fallen in a few years to a tenth. The penalties that have been imposed on fossil fuels also play a role. "Right now almost nothing is profitable. Except for renewables in Spain. And within Spain, in Andalusia, which is where there are more hours of sunshine. It is an excellent business".
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, the installed capacity in renewable energies "has multiplied by five in the last decade in the community", with the most significant increase in solar installations. That is the path for the energy future of the community, they say from the Board, which has just launched a tender to purchase energy for 5,000 points of supply in their buildings with the exception of 100% renewable energy.
From Endesa, the main electricity operator in Andalusia, they point out more benefits of solar energy for the community. "Andalusia has more than 2,000 hours of sunshine a year and more than 2,000 kWh per square metre, which is more than double that of Germany in summer," they say. In the community there is a lot of sun and, in addition, there are lands to install photovoltaic plants. "The best thing for these infrastructures is rustic land with no agricultural or livestock use. And there is a lot of that in Andalusia".
Betting on self-consumption
The Junta de Andalucía and the energy companies are clear that self-consumption is the present and future of the electricity market. The director of the Andalusian Energy Agency (AAE), Jorge Jimenez, explains that they want to promote aid for citizens to install electricity generation devices at home. And he recognizes that in the past the laws put "many obstacles" to self-consumption. Not anymore. "The new Royal Decree simplifies and facilitates", he says. Endesa also wants consumers to switch to production. "To be more active and become prosumers", they say. This, which could mean that they sell less electricity, they see as a business opportunity since they are proposing pay-per-use, a financing model for the installations and their maintenance: "The objective is that five percent of the energy is produced by the citizens. Rather than selling more energy, we want it to be clean, sustainable".