- UNEF said in 2020, Spain installed 3.4 GW of new PV capacity, down from previous year’s 4.57 GW DC
- All of the new capacity added was out of any regulatory or incentive scheme
- Self-consumption segment grew 30% on annual basis despite the impacts caused by the pandemic in 2020
- Cumulative installed PV capacity of Spain at the end of 2020 reached 12.7 GW DC
Spanish solar PV association Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF) has released its annual report for the sector in 2020, claiming 3.4 GW DC was the total installed solar power capacity in the country. Even though this is less than 4.57 GW DC/3.97 AC it installed in 2019 that made it Spain’s best year so far for annual solar deployments, UNEF called 2020 a historic year for the PV sector (see Spain Installs About 4.6 GW DC New Solar In 2019).
It was historic, as UNEF explained, since the 2.812 GW DC ground mounted solar capacity deployed (2019: around 4.2 GW DC) was without any state aid or regulatory scheme. In the self-consumption segment, 596 MW DC reflected 30% annual growth (2019: 459 MW DC), proving its ‘resilience’ to COVID-19 pandemic.
Extremadura alone contributed 1.32 GW of ground mounted capacity, followed by Andalucia with over 897 MW. Solar PV technology is preferred by businesses which also contributed to making Spain a leading market for bilateral power purchase agreements (PPA) in 2020.
At the end of 2020, Spain’s cumulative installed PV capacity was 12.7 GW, as per the report, accounting for 6.2% of total energy mix of the country, and 14% among renewable energy sources.
UNEF points out at the bright future for solar PV technology in the country as Spain makes all round efforts to meet its 60 GW renewable energy capacity target by 2030, under its National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC). Spanish government has a 5-year renewable energy auction plan, to be exercised between 2021 and 2030. The 1st auction held in January 2021, as per this plan, saw solar PV technology winning over 2 GW capacity (see €0.01489/kWh Lowest Winning Tariff In Spanish RE Auction).
Meeting the PNIEC target, according to the association’s estimates, would require 39.2 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030, growing up from the current cumulative of 12.7 GW. It would translate to about 2.7 GW annual additions till 2030.
However, since no auctioned capacity is scheduled to come online in 2021, annual installations this year would depend on capacity contracted under PPAs/merchant market. Till the end of December 2020, Spain had 97 GW of PV capacity with grid connection permits and 20 GW in the process of obtaining it. In 2021, UNEF expects annual ground mounted PV capacity of Spain to reach up to 3 GW.
Further on, in 2022 some part of the 2.034 GW awarded in the January 2021 auction may come online, with the entire capacity scheduled to be grid connected by February 2023.
According to the association, annual installations of 2020 also made Spain the next largest European solar market of the year, after Germany that exited the year with 4.88 GW (see Germany Exited 2020 With 4.88 GW New Solar Installed).
The UNEF report can be downloaded for free from its website.
In June 2021, European Commission adopted positive assessment of Spain’s €69.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Plan to be invested between 2021 and 2026. It would entail the country to invest €6.1 billion in clean technologies and accelerate the development and use of renewables.