The National Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers (Anpier) is clear that the renewable energy model towards which Spain is heading is one in which individuals and SMEs must have a greater role. He defends that around 20% of the energy that is sold through the network is in the hands of these two groups in order to generate wealth and that it is not only the large operators that take over the market.
In a breakfast organized by LaInformacion.com on ‘Renewables and their role in the current situation of energy crisis’, the general director of Anpier, Rafael Barrera, highlights that it has a “very kind” effect on local economies. “You have to consider that a small park has between 2 and 5 megawatts (MW) and that due to economies of scale it is not the same to buy the materials for a 500 MW park than for a small one: the costs are very different, of course. However, this is not transferred to the price of the final energy with the pricing system that we have, that is, it does not harm the user to encourage 20% of the energy to be socialized,” he argues.
In this sense, Barrera positively values the promotion of self-consumption and, specifically, the collective as a way to obtain discounts on the electricity bill, but claims that interested citizens have easier access to the energy business and can thus obtain income thus the sale of surpluses; that is to say, with the energy that it generates with its own installation and that it does not consume. In fact, the barriers to the discharge of excess energy into the electricity grid are causing thousands of gigawatt hours (GWh) to be wasted, which are equivalent to hundreds of millions of euros, in a context in which the end of generation through fossil fuels after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and it all adds up.
“The European Union (EU) speaks of the citizen at the center of the energy transition, but it is not reality. We must promote this vector of wealth generation in the hands of citizens,” Barrera highlights. To put the value of the smallest photovoltaic plants (less than 100 kilowatts) in context, they contributed 2,199 million euros to the national GDP in 2021 thanks to their growing activity. In addition, they generated 20,015 new jobs, of which 2,370 were direct, according to the latest PwC report prepared for Anpier.
More value to small parks
The CEO of Anpier thus insists that more value should be given to smaller photovoltaic parks. “Before, a 5 MW park was large and now it is insignificant because there are projects of up to 500 MW. Its main assets, such as the landscape, can be altered. However, there was no social movement against the first 4,000 MW that were launched between 2007 and 2009, because they were small and social parks, where the wealth of the generation will remain in the territory, in the families, the property of the megaparks does not belong to the people who live in the territories and that exacerbates spirits in some cases; it’s logical”, he also highlights.
On the other hand, the president of Conpymes, José María Torres, calls on public institutions so that small and medium-sized companies are not left behind in the decarbonization process towards which the economy is heading due to a greater lack of resources than the big corporations. “SMEs have to be sustainable and those that are not will disappear. The regulation that comes from Europe will encourage SMEs that are not to disappear in the near future. We need more help from the administration and optimize European funds. The large companies are more prepared and SMEs have fewer resources in the face of bureaucracy, with processes that are endless”, explains Torres.
Likewise, it highlights the priority for SMEs that there is already a penalty regime against late payment, which is the main scourge that affects their viability. “When an SME charges 300 days, it is not competitive and can close easily. One out of every three SMEs that closes is because they cannot collect from the big ones. In Congress we have already had 83 extensions,” he indicates, stressing the need for small and medium-sized companies will also have a greater participation in public procurement processes.
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