Spain: Demand for stable legal framework for solar market

At the two-day meeting, approximately 190 experts from the renewable energy sector gathered to discuss the Spanish solar market. Among others, the topics of grid parity in the photovoltaic sector, auto-consumption, distributed generation, incentives for renewable heat, and new international markets, were addressed.

Representatives from the various political parties present agreed on the need for a stable legal framework for the photovoltaic sector, in order to provide planning reliability for companies and investors. During the panel discussion, "The role of solar energy in the current political scene", the importance of improving the connections and wiring systems within Europe, in order to enhance the energy transfer between the European countries, was also underlined.

Javier Anta of the Asociación de la Industria Fotovoltaica (ASIF) emphasized that the photovoltaic sector, despite difficult external conditions like uncertain legal frameworks and the economic crisis, sustained its position and has proven to be "very resilient".

Carlo Montoya of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) predicted in his presentation about Spain’s new national plan of action for renewable energies, PER (2011 – 2020), that around 300,000 could be employed in the Spanish renewable energy sector by 2020.

The competitive position of Spanish photovoltaic manufacturers was the topic of Antonio Navarros’ presentation, the representative of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). New target markets for Spanish manufacturers are, among others, said to be the USA, India, Australia, Latin America and Morocco.

The secretary-general of the Spanish solar thermal federation Protermosolar and president of the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA), Luis Crespo, stressed that solar thermal energy will play a significant role in the European energy mix in the future. Spain is world leader in the context of innovations in solar thermal energy, but could be replaced by the U.S. in the future.

The topic of grid parity was addressed throughout the conference. In particular, it was said that since grid parity has already been reached in Spain, the future of the Spanish market lies in distributed generation and auto-consumption. How this will be put into practice, will be discussed at the follow-up conference in the next year.

The conference “Conferencia de la Industria Solar – España” in Spain took place for the fifth time. The event, which was organized by Solarpraxis AG, was supported by the European federations ESTELA, ESTIF (European Solar Thermal Industry Federation) and EPIA, as well as the Spanish organizations AEF (Asociación Empresarial Fotovoltaica), ASIF, ASIT (Asociación Solar Industria Térmica), APPA (Asociación de Productores de Energías Renovables), and PROTERMOSOLAR.