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2020: The photovoltaic energy records year, and we are only halfway there

AleaSoft, August 5, 2020. Photovoltaic energy in Spain doesn’t stop breaking records. It is enough just to take a look at the evolution of production and installed capacity in recent months to see that a clear paradigm shift occurred: from a stagnant situation for a decade to a true photovoltaic energy revolution.

AleaSoft - Solar photovoltaic panels

Although 2020 is not a year to celebrate in general, the good news of photovoltaic energy in Spain continues to come in a year where this technology in Spain does not stop breaking records. The first good news began in June 2019, when more MW of solar PV were installed in a single month than in the last seven years. And from there, the photovoltaic energy capacitydid not stop growing, with growths that exceeded two figures in some months.

AleaSoft - Photovoltaic installed capcity SpainSource: Prepared by AleaSoft using data from REE.

The impetus received by the renewable energy auctions and by the ambitious objectives of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) were the key to this explosion of photovoltaic energy after a decade of total stagnation. The Spanish NECP designated the photovoltaic energy as the technology that will lead the energy transition and the decarbonisation of the electricity sector in Spain. The objective of the Plan is to reach almost 40 GW of photovoltaic energy capacity in 2030 and position itself as the second technology in installed capacity, only behind wind energy.

In terms of electricity production, the photovoltaic energy records were going on since the beginning of the year. In February, instant production records began to be chained, a record that right now corresponds to the last days of June. Also in February, the solar energy, both photovoltaic and solar thermal, exceeded for the first time the instantaneous nuclear energy production. But the records did not stop here; in this 2020, only until July, photovoltaic energy has already produced more electricity than in all of 2019 and 20% more than in all of 2018.

AleaSoft - Monthly production photovoltaic energy SpainSource: Prepared by AleaSoft using data from REE.

If we look at the coverage of peninsular electricity demand by the photovoltaic energy, for the time being the daily record stands at 13.2% on May 3, 2020. A share of demand coverage that, in addition to Increased photovoltaic energy production was also favoured by the low demand on a Sunday with the population confined and commercial and industrial activity at a minimum level due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In any case, with the rate of growth of photovoltaic energy, this data will surely soon be exceeded again.

Regarding the solar thermal energy, it did not started yet its explosion, such as photovoltaic energy, but it is expected to play a very important role in the energy transition, thanks to its energy storage capacity and the possibility of continuing to generate electricity after sunset, to cover part of the peak demand in the afternoon and at night. The currently installed capacity is 2.3 GW and the objective of the NECP is to reach 7.3 GW by 2030.

The evolution of photovoltaic energy in Spain and in the rest of the European electricity markets in recent weeks, as well as the price and the rest of the market variables, can be tracked at the observatories on the AleaSoft website. For a more in-depth analysis of the data, with more time granularity options and with all the historical data, AleaSoft is developing the Platform Plus that will soon be available in beta version for its clients.

Source: AleaSoft Energy Forecasting.

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