• PV union of Spain, UNEF has estimated that the country added 55 MW of PV capacity in 2016
  • Compared to 75 GW installed globally in 2016, Spain contributed only 0.07%
  • This capacity increase comes from self-consumption facilities and off-grid installations, primarily for agricultural use
  • A 1 GW technology-neutral tender for wind and solar might planned for 2017 might lead to higher solar installations in the near future

Spain installed 55 MW of solar PV capacity in 2016, registering an improvement of 12% over 49 MW installed in 2015. This capacity has come from self-consumption facilities and off-grid installations, mainly for agricultural use.

The figures are estimates given by the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (La Unión Española Fotovoltaica, UNEF). It says Spain installed only 0.07% of the global additions of around 75 GW in 2016.

While Spains’s absolute number itself is ridiculously low, it shows at least an upward trend compared to Europe as a whole, which decreased installation numbers by 20% YoY to 6.9 GW, according to lobby association SolarPower Europe (see Global Solar Up, Europe Down).

UNEF called for removal of what is called the ‘sun tax’ in Spain, an administrative and economic barrier, which should be replaced by a simplified administrative procedure.

Self consumption of power with the help of solar PV is not popular with the Spanish Administration. In 2015, the Conservatives-lead government had proposed slapping punitive measures on consumers who use solar for without feeding the grid. This is termed as ‘sun tax’ by critics.
Spain is planning renwable energy auctions in the first half of 2017 for the mainland of 3 GW, which should lead to more solar installations in the near future (see Spain To Launch 3 GW Renewables Tender). But the tender design favours wind over solar. Spain also is looking at a separate tender for its islands (see RE Auction For Spanish Islands Soon).