- Spain’s MITECO has approved measures to support renewable energy generation, including floating solar projects
- Measures approved will ease and accelerate permitting processes for clean energy resources
- For floating solar facilities, it has opened a consultation seeking views on conditions to be included for administrative authorizations and concessions
Alerted by the socio-economic repercussions of Russian invasion on Ukraine, the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has approved measures to support renewable energy generation that it believes will bring down electricity bills for the country by €1.8 billion in 2022, along with encouraging floating solar facilities.
Among the measures cleared, the ministry will release 10% grid capacity to incorporate approximately 7 GW of self-consumption capacity. Between 2023 and 2025, discoms will expand their investment plants in the electricity networks by a minimum of 10% to facilitate the evacuation of new small size renewable projects and for self-consumption.
Until December 31, 2024 it will enable an accelerated temporary procedure to evaluate environmental concerns and processing of wind power plants of less than 75 MW, and new PV projects of less than 150 MW, according to MITECO that’s headed by the country’s 3rd Vice President, Teresa Ribera Rodríguez.
Consultation for floating solar
MITECO has also opened a consultation process to regulate the installation of floating solar PV plants in the public hydraulic domain or in other publicly owned hydraulic infrastructures. Floating solar power capacity will be added to the energy produced by hydroelectric plants thereby increasing the overall power generation capacity, while optimizing the evacuation infrastructure.
Through the consultation, MITECO aims to determine the conditions to be included for administrative authorizations and concessions for the commissioning of such projects in a sustainable manner. Concessions will be granted for a maximum duration of 25 years. Interested parties will need to have a grid connection permit and submit feasibility studies on their impact on the water body.
Currently, the proposed regulation encompasses a maximum of 3 plants per reservoir according to certain specifications. Plants will not be installed in oligrotrophic reservoirs meaning those with good water quality, as well as natural lakes or lagoons.
MITECO estimates around 100 state-owned reservoirs where such facilities can be located, which further need to be assessed.
“Given that the concept of floating photovoltaics is still recent, follow-up programs will be established to better understand the characteristics of these installations, consider the possible impacts they may have and study the requirements that are necessary for their start-up,” stated MITECO. “To this end, MITECO will prepare manuals, technical guides or recommendations to guide their implementation and will closely monitor the evolution of these plants.”
Responses to this consultation will be accepted till April 7, 2022. Further details are available on MITECO’s website.
Spain aims to grow the share of renewables in its final electricity consumption to 42% and in the total electricity mix to 74% by 2030, under its Climate Change and Energy Transition Law.