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Let the sun shine - Spain and 500,000 new jobs

Category: GOVERNMENT

We traveled north, to Germany to visit some friends. It is raining here. And we were surprised by the large number of new solar panels; almost every tenth house now has solar panels on the roof. And it kept raining. "It is profitable", our friends say, "our electric bill is down to “zero". We supply solar power primarily at lunch and the meter is running backwards, when we need electricity at night, it runs forward again". And, “in ten years the solar system has paid for itself.” We are excited: That's exactly what we want for Spain. Zero-billing, zero-invoice! And how much does the utility company pay you if you produce more electricity than used?

 

Our friends now ask us to sit down. And they tell us the solar story. Prices for solar panels have fallen by 70% in the last 3 years. “Germany pays only 10 cents to feed excess solar power into the grid.”

 

10 cents! So you use your own electricity for 10 cents instead of buying it from the utility for more? Yes! Solar power is profitable now! But, why wouldn`t everybody do it? "Everybody is doing it! A year ago we installed over 1 million solar power systems in Germany. Because it pays off! Because, it is green, zero emission energy! And it creates jobs, especially in the construction sector.

 

I think I'm dreaming! If this works in Germany, the land of rain, wouldn't it work in Spain even better, Spain the land of sun? And indeed, we are calculating: 5 cents should work. This is about the average power market price - no more subsidies. A <win - win – win> situation for Spain! The homeowner benefits from cheap electricity, the utilities benefit because they buy power at noon for only cents and can sell it to the electricity market at premium prices, and we all benefit with hundreds of thousands of new jobs. And all this with zero subsidies.

 

And what is missing in order to open the door to the future? Spain needs a proactive policy:
We need a law that allows zero-billing or a fat tariff allowing the self consumption and an 5.8 cent tarif for excess energy produced, the energy that is not used at home.

 

Mr. President, por favor, "let the sun shine in!"

 

Details:

 

Calculation for Spain

The price for one energy package (kilowatthour or kWh) is 0.22 Euro/kWh. The Spanish power market paid 5 Cent/kWh [2] on average.

 

Example 1: 25% of the produced solar energy is used in the home and 75% is sold to the grid. For the annual production we are assuming 1,750 hours which is a typical value for Madrid.

 

Self consumption: 0.22 €/kWh x 1kW x 0.25 x 1750 hours = 96.25 €

Sale to grid: 0.05 €/kWh x 1kW x 0.75 x 1750 hours = 65.63 €

Total gains: 162 € for 1 kW

Investment: 1,500 €

Payback: 1500€/162€ = 9 years

Carbon savings: 1kW x 1750 hours x 0.5 kgCO2/kWh offset= 850 kg CO2 each year

 

Example 2: 50% of the produced solar energy is used in the home and 50% is sold to the grid. For the annual production we are assuming 1,750 hours which is a typical value for Madrid.

 

Self consumption: 0,22 €/kWh x 1kW x 0,50 x 1750 hours = 192.50 €

Sale to grid: 0.05 €/kWh x 1kW x 0.50 x 1750 hours = 43.75 €

Total gains: 236 € for 1 kW

Investment: 1500 €

Payback: 1500€/236€ = 6 years

Carbon savings: 1kW x 1750 hours x 0.5 kgCO2/kWh offset= 850 kg CO2 each year

 

Solar jobs for Spain

There is an estimated 10 million buildings in Spain [3], and we are estimating 4 workers for 2 weeks to install the solar equipment on a typical multiparty building, 1 additional week for maintenance and administration thereafter. Assuming a 10 year horizont, this would result in 300.000 solar jobs for Spain!

 

10,000,000 buildings / 10 years = 1,000,000 buildings / year

Each year, 1,000,000 buildings x 4 people x 3 weeks x 5 day a week = 60,000,000 workdays per year

Assuming one year has 200 workdays this results in 60,000,000 / 200 = 300,000 solar jobs

 

If we add all the industrial buildings (we did not find numbers for it) and assuming solar factories would be established, we estimate that there could well be 500,000 solar jobs in Spain.

 

 

Calculation for Germany

The price for one energy package (kilowatthour or kWh) is 0.27 Euro/kWh and the solar feed-in tariff 0.10 Cent/kWh.

 

Example 1: 25% of the produced solar energy is used in the home and 75% is sold to the grid. For the annual production we are assuming 1,018 hours.

 

Self consumption: 0.27 €/kWh x 1kW x 0.25 x 1018 hours = 68.72 €

Sale to grid: 0.10 €/kWh x 1kW x 0.75 x 1018 hours = 76.35 €

Total gains: 145 € for 1 kW

Investment: 1,500 €

Payback: 1500€/145€ = 10 years

Carbon savings: 1kW x 1018 hours x 0.5 kgCO2/kWh offset= 509 kg CO2 each year

 

Example 2: 50% of the produced solar energy is used in the home and 50% is sold to the grid. For the annual production we are assuming 1,018 hours.

 

Self consumption: 0,27 €/kWh x 1kW x 0,50 x 1018 hours = 137.43 €

Sale to grid: 0.10 €/kWh x 1kW x 0.50 x 1018 hours = 50.90 €

Total gains: 188 € for 1 kW

Investment: 1,500 €

Payback: 1500€/188€ = 8 years

Carbon savings: 1kW x 1018 hours x 0.5 kgCO2/kWh offset= 509 kg CO2 each year

 

Summary:

It is as profitable to build solar energy systems on Spanish roofs, at market prices without any subsidies, as on German roofs with a 10 cent feed-in tariff.

Let the sun shine in!

 

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/6849826/8-27052015-AP-EN.pdf/4f9f295f-bb31-4962-a7a9-b6c4365a5deb

[2] http://www.omel.es/inicio/publicaciones

[3] http://www.ine.es/censos2011_datos/cen11_datos_inicio.htm

 

 

Latest update 2014
CO2 savings 850 kg per year
Zero Emission Investment €1,500
Payback 8/10 years
Zero Emission Profit €145/189 per year after payback
Potential 500,000 jobs
Country Spain
Rating +++
Author María Collado / Ingo Stuckmann
Start of story 2014
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