Renewable Energy has been making headlines in Spain over the last month for various reasons.
First of all, September ended with the cost of electricity 45% higher than September 2017, putting the cost of electricity at the highest it has been since 1998. This translates to an increase of €9 to the consumer compared with the same month last year.
There are various reasons for this dramatic cost increase:
During the Summer, the production of power from cheap sources such as water and wind always tends to decline. This was the case also this year, which meant that more power had to be generated from more expensive sources such as coal.
Price increases for coal, gas and oil resulted in the end cost of electricity for the consumer being higher too.
France also put on hold production from 20 of its 58 nuclear power plants for security reasons so has been forced to import electricity from other countries. As the demand for energy increases, so do the prices.
Taking all of these into account, forecasts expect that 2018 will see the cost of electricity be 14.1% higher than 2017.
The government responded to the dramatic cost increase by announcing a suspension of the 7% tax on electricity generation and a series of support/benefits available to assist the most vulnerable consumers to help them pay the electricity bills.
Then also making headlines last month was the announcement made by the minister Teresa Ribera, confirming that the so called “sun tax” is abolished. Although this tax never applied to solar PV installations for self-consumption of less than 10KW, it received a lot of negative publicity and generated a lot of fear so people were put off considering generating their own electricity via solar. When announcing the changes to the law to get rid of this tax, the minister recognized that it is not logical that a country like Spain that is sun rich should have so few domestic solar PV installations compared with Germany, for example, which has many more. With this announcement, people should now no longer be afraid of embracing solar PV to generate electricity for their own use.
If you are concerned about the latest cost increases and the news that electricity is expected to get more expensive, there are some steps you can take:
- There is a website where you can check if you are eligible for government help to pay your electricity bills: https://civio.es/bono-social/.
- Check the deals and plans offered by your electricity supplier to make sure you have the most suitable and cost effective one to suit you.
- There are also different energy suppliers so you can shop around to find the one that offers the best plan for your needs.
- Use electricity efficiently by switching garden lighting to solar and using L.E.D or low consumption bulbs inside the house; switching off appliances rather than leaving them on stand-by etc.
- Consider making use of free, renewable energy sources such as the sun to heat your water or generate electricity for your home.