Record installation in photovoltaics, but the sector warns that there will be a blockage if the regulation does not change

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2022 was a historic year for the photovoltaic sector in Spain, where about 4.7 GW of power from ground plants (which is a record) and more than 2.5 GW of self-consumption, according to data from the annual report of the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF). However, the organization noted that an extension in installation milestones will be necessary to avoid a bottleneck in projects that must be completed before 2025. During the presentation, both Rafael Benjumeapresident of UNEF, as its general director, Jose Donosostressed the need to accelerate the administrative processing.

The installation figures represent a jump compared to 2021, which had also recorded historical figures. So, Ground power installation grew by 25% year-on-year, while the jump in self-consumption was 108%. As Benjumea certified, “the development of self-consumption has been historic in 2022.” The manager also celebrated that Spain “is consolidating” as one of the leading markets in Europe in this sector, something that also helps attract investments and companies looking for cheap energy.

All this, therefore, represents an “industrialization opportunity.” In this sense, he recalled that the country already has a relevant position in the manufacturing of photovoltaic components – but not the panels – and “the value chain is becoming more local“. At a time when energy is key, largely due to the war in Ukraine, this also helps achieve energy sovereignty.

According to UNEF data, Spain was the fifth country in which the most peak power was installed in 2022, with 8.1 GWp. China remains unattainable -106 GWp-, but the European Union as a whole is already positioned as the second market (38.9 GWp), even ahead of the United States (18.6 GWp), India (18.1 GWp) and Brazil ( 9.9 GWp). By total fleet, Spain is the seventh country with the most installed power.

By community, the one that grew the most in installed power -both in land and self-consumption- in 2022 was Estremadura (1,467 MW), followed by Andalusia (1.186 MW) y Castilla la Mancha (1,125 MW). In the accumulated history, Extremadura also occupies first position (5,438 MW), ahead of Andalusia (4,205 MW) and Castilla-La Mancha (2,979 MW). Madrid, at the moment, is almost at the bottom, with 64 MW installed: only Galicia (18 MW), Asturias (1 MW), Cantabria (4 MW) and the Basque Country (51 MW), although in those communities there are fewer hours of sun and greater wind development.

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