Spain deployed 3.4 GW of solar in 2020


From pv magazine Spain

According to new statistics released by Spanish photovoltaic association UNEF, 2020 was the second-best year ever in terms of newly deployed PV capacity in Spain.

The association reports that 3.4 GW was installed last year, of which 2.8 GW came from ground-mounted PV plants and 596 MW from rooftop solar arrays. In 2019, the best year in the photovoltaic history of Spain so far, 4,201 MW were installed on the ground and 459 MW for self-consumption. While most of the ground-mounted projects in 2019 were subsidized through the country's auction scheme, last year's projects were mostly unsubsidized plants under power purchase agreements.

Furthermore, in 2020, a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the direct contribution of the photovoltaic sector to the national GDP was €3.7 billion, or a 0.33% share, UNEF noted. In terms of employment, the PV sector employed 58,892 workers directly and indirectly overall last year.


2020 was also one of the best years in terms of regulatory activities. In June 2020, Royal Decree (RD) 23/2020 was approved, introducing administrative milestones to the holders of access permits and modified RD 24/2013 of the electricity sector to allow the development of a new remuneration framework for renewables and the hybridization of facilities, among others.

Also approved in 2020 was RD 960/2020, which carries out the regulatory development of the Economic Regime for Renewable Energy Sources (REER) based on the allocation, via auctions, of a fixed price for the energy generated.

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After the RD, new provisions detailed the procedure for holding the first renewable auctions under this new mechanism, with the first one having been held on January 26, 2021. Regarding the results of the auction, PV was awarded 2,034 MW, and it took all of the capacity that was awarded in the technological neutral procurement exercise. 26 different companies were awarded. The average final price was €24.5/MWh (wind €25.3/ MWh) with a distribution focused on average values, with the vast majority (88%) of bids awarded between €22/MWh and €29/MWh.


For 2021, sustained growth is expected, with a wide portfolio of ground-mounted projects under development. As of December 31, 2020, there was 97 GW of PV projects that had obtained connection permits and 20 GW that were in the process of obtaining approval.

In the first months of 2021, 1,314 MW have been installed, and UNEF estimates ground-mounted solar plants with a combined capacity of up to 3 GW may be deployed this year.

Looking ahead to 2030, “being positive, it is expected to reach some 13 GW of plants on the ground and 10 GW of self-consumption”, concluded UNEF General Director José Donoso.


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