Investments in new large-scale solar energy projects in Spain are expected to surpass €4 billion over the next two years. Meanwhile, the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha is planning to reduce the time frame for the authorization process for solar and renewables from 12 to 9 months.
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 investments in solar energy projects will be made in Spain over the next two years.
The Spanish solar market, on the other hand, is also expected to grow at an annual rate new investments in the range of €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 pointed out by the associations. 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 the lack of more planning for the grid expansion.
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 combined capacity of 1.3 GW. Overall, the total power of renewable energy projects under review is totaling 1.6 GW.
In order to make the implementation of all of these projects, the regional government has decided to shorten the time frame for their approval process from 12 to 9 months.
The Spanish with the largest amount of announced giant solar projects are Andalucía and Extremadura, with are located in the southernmost part of the country.
Despite this dynamic scenario and the fact that 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.