Spain has 24 GW of solar projects under review

Environmental and government authorities across all Spanish regions are currently reviewing project proposals with a combined capacity of around 24 GW, according to the Spanish solar association, UNEF.

As revealed by the organization’s president José Donoso, in a hearing with the Committee of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda of the Spanish Senate, between €4 billion and €5 billion in new solar energy project investments will be made in Spain over the next two years.

New investments in the Spanish solar market are also expected to grow at an annual rate of between €1 billion to €2 billion starting from 2020, Donoso went on to say.

“Currently, the photovoltaic sector is regaining momentum in our country, while looking for alternatives to auctions, such as going directly to the spot market or through bilateral PPAs,” UNEF said in its press release.

A few barriers, however, have been highlighted by the association. These include institutionalized legal insecurity, which is represented by the risk of retroactive measures, and in which Spain is undoubtedly the world record holder; the current regulation for the grid-connection of large-scale energy infrastructure; and a lack of grid expansion plans.

In a separate development, the regional government of Spain’s central region of Castilla-La Mancha has revealed that its environmental and energy authorities are currently reviewing 60 solar projects with a combined capacity of 1.3 GW. Overall, the total power of renewable energy projects under review totals 1.6 GW.

To realize all of these projects, the regional government has decided to shorten the timeframe for their approval process from 12 to nine months.

The Spanish regions with the largest amount of announced large-scale solar projects are Andalucía and Extremadura, both of which are located in the southernmost part of the country.

Despite this dynamic scenario and the fact that several PPAs for large-scale solar projects have been recently signed, last year, the Spanish solar market grew almost exclusively in the rooftop segment, with around 135 MW in new installations.