miércoles, 17 de mayo de 2017

With self-consumption we all win

The Alliance for Self-Consumption, which has been presented today in partnership, has published a manifesto - With self-consumption we all win - in which it reviews the benefits offered by this savings solution. We collects them all below:

  • Self-consumption is a central tool for the exercise of citizen's right to participate actively in the energy transition. If there are more people involved in the energy transition, greater will be their public acceptance and lower their cost;
  • Self-consumption is supportive of the environment by avoiding the use of polluting energy sources and emission of greenhouse gases, contributing to improvement of air quality;
  • Self-consumption is in solidarity with the country, reducing import of fossil fuels and energy dependence, balancing the trade balance and improving energy sovereignty;
  • Self-consumption is in solidarity with all consumers, by helping to reduce the price of electricity and the electricity bill for all consumers.
  • Self-consumer contributes to maintenance of the system like any other consumer, paying costs of the system for having the right to use it (full term and variable term depending on the energy used by the network);
  • Self-consumption generates competition and increases flexibility in electricity system, which can also lead to a reduction in final energy prices;
  • Self-consumption brings benefits to electricity system, by avoiding system losses that occur between electricity generating facility andpoint of consumption, and by avoiding development of new transport and distribution networks;
  • In the future, it will be essential to develop the active management of consumer demand to improve the functioning of the electricity system and promote energy efficiency. In this sense, self-consumption, including systems combined with storage, is a great ally to be a tool for consumer empowerment, facilitating the entry of new players to market, helping system to better adapt to consumption patterns and flattening the demand curve.
  • Self-consumption does not imply any additional cost for electrical system, since renewable technology installations are directly monetized by means of savings on electricity supply bill without need for any type of assistance;
  • Self-consumption, especially in its shared mode, can contribute to fight against energy poverty for vulnerable social groups;
  • Development of self-consumption has benefits for economy, because it involves to creation of direct, qualified and local employment, and contributes to strengthening competitiveness of companies;
  • Self-consumption contributes to technological development and innovation.

"For all these reasons," explains the Alliance, "we consider that renewable self-consumption is one of the most appropriate instruments to combat climate change, reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation and, at the same time, And energy management. "
Manifest in spanish “Con el autoconsumo ganamos todos

jueves, 4 de mayo de 2017

Housing I

A citizen perspective Housing I - Madrid 

Interview held in July 2016 by Irene Vivas

The European Union has always been a great champion of clean energies and demonstrates it in strategies such as Europe 2020 [1] aiming at reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% lower than in 1990, having 20% of energy from renewables and increasing 20% in energy efficiency. Sounds good, right? 

People like Juan, the interviewee, constitute a minority of the society which moves from theory into action. Unfortunately, the political "climate" in Spain is not favorable to these changes and makes it even harder for aware citizens to avoid the normal channels that protect the interests of oligopolies.

Juan Manuel was waiting for me under the porch of his magnificent house. After half of his life in South America and the US, he is now retired and installed on the outskirts of Madrid.

My first curiosity is related to the origin of his environmental awareness. With certain melancholy for the happy years he spent in Venezuela (enough to become a national citizen), Juan remembers his role as a Civil Engineer: building some of the most important bridges, ports and other “monsters” along a continent. At that time, many factories used to rise up the chimneys to get rid of their pollution; it was the way it worked, I pollute but “others” get the worse part, a well-known philosophy that remains in our unconsciousness. This behavior made him concern about human beings and how they do not care about their impact on the environment. 

Once his wife Simona and he came back to Europe, they decided to invest their savings in a beautiful and sustainable – economically, as well- house to live with their two daughters. Back then, around 1991, this was possible because of sensitive architects. First of all, the couple bought a solar with a proper North - South orientation: closing the north and opening the south wall through several terraces. Then, they isolated the walls, prepared the outer sheath for solar panels and installed a radiant floor in order to be energy efficient and avoid the involuntary loss of heat or cold. In the garden, perennial trees facing north to protect from the sun and deciduous ones to let the sun enter in winter.  It was all about taking advantage of the design, using quality materials and joinery, as well as considering the conditions in which the house was going to be built. 

Later on, Juan decided to change the energetic system from a diesel- powered boiler to an aerothermical system [2]  (reducing 3 or 4 times the electricity bill) and his plan, as he calls it, “Phase 4: 2020” is to install panels and start self-consuming the energy he produces.

However, the current Spanish legislation [3]  does not allow it, without taking into consideration several European Directives [4] related to this matter. 
Currently, his daughter Samantha has started planting some vegetables at the back of the garden. She researched, firstly as a cooking lover who was attired by the idea of having tasty and natural food every day on the table. She plans to use the butts of her boyfriend and aromatics plants as pesticide. 

Juan Manuel and Sami, as their friends call her, two people trying to live the European dream and showing that this fight between the EU strategy and our State apparatus must come to an end. 29, 3 % of the CO2 [5] emissions in the European Union come from the energy supply and this won’t change if we help the Energy sector to keep their benefits rather a citizen, village or enterprise to be auto sufficient.  

If you want to know all the technical details of this house, Juan made a report – in Spanish-, ask him jlazaro@ciccp.es

This info graphic of the European Commission shows some of the examples used by Juan in his house. 

[2] The Aerothermia is one of the most unknown renewable energies in the world.
[3] Royal Decree (2015); it uses administrative obstacles to make self- consumption expensive and difficult.
[4] Directives such as 2010/31/UE.

VALDEMARÍN, A SUSTAINABLE HOUSE. “Phase 4: 2020 -Autonomous” or We can disconnect from grid!!!


  A) High thermal insulation
  B) Windows and doors of high performance
  C) Thermal envelope tightness
  D) Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
  E) Absence of thermal bridges (TB)
7. What is the future of clean energy?
8. And Spain what?

ABSTRACT: An owner describes the conditions under which a bioclimatic house should be designed that tries to achieve maximum efficiency and comfort until it becomes a house of almost zero energy consumption.


Most people understand the impact that has on Society our reliance on fossil fuels for energy. The primary cause is the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, mostly carbon dioxide, which form a blanket that traps heat at the Earth’s surface. Human activities such as burning oil, coal and natural gas and deforestation have increased the amount of carbon dioxide by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution began. This has consequences now, and for future generations.

Another effect of relying on fossil fuel technologies is that the majority of people also depend on the big energy companies who supply the fuel. Consumers are exposed to cost fluctuations, and mostly have no option but to accept the variability as a by-product of using these fuels.


There are many benefits associated to changing to green energy. Solar power is a clear winner in the switch to renewables because the price of installation has decreased substantially over the last decade.


This case is one of the first, but the first, "bioclimatic" housing made in Spain (Project: 02/17/1987). It represents a unique example of energy management efficiently and offers its occupants maximum comfort, safety and a very low maintenance cost. Its design has sought to achieve thermal comfort in a natural way, adapting the design and orientation to take advantage of the Sun's energy, both in summer and winter, with passive solar systems and a programmable control system in sections that you can manage it manually or automatically. With the passage of time the use of renewable energy has allowed replacing the traditional fossil energies, to achieve a building of almost zero energy consumption (NZEB) and of high energy efficiency. All this makes it a sustainable home and shows the way forward in future projects.

To achieve the sustainability of a society it is necessary to understand that the most intelligent and at the same time economic thing is to spend only the energy that is really needed. However, the national legislation itself is incomprehensibly delaying the decision making (investments) in the sense of improving sustainability to which the European directives themselves and the common sense oblige.

South orientation


Bioclimatic houses are designed with the principles:

• Energy saving
• Economic savings
• Sustainability
• Respect for the enviroment

In order to achieve them, it is proposed to optimize the natural environment of the specific place where the house will be built. Architecture has a connection to Nature or must be.

The orientation can be chosen before making the plans and better when buying the most suitable plot. In cold areas it is advisable to orient the parts of the house where we spend the most time to the south to take full advantage of the heat of the sun, which hits more strongly in the south. To create the greenhouse effect, in our favor, the best thing is that the walls of these spaces are glazed, so they will be heated during the day and will radiate heat to the house at night, avoiding that we use the heating or that we use it less time. The spaces that we use less can be oriented towards the north where the cold affects more.

If the land is located in a warm area, the distribution is reversed, that is, the spaces of the house that we use most frequently should be oriented towards the north, so that we have a little shade during the summer, in these same spaces you must put the glazed walls to have some warmth during the winter.
In order to keep the house cool during the hot months (July and August), porches are built to protect the sun, its rays are higher in summer and lower in winter, and awnings and blinds can be installed in warm areas where there is more sun, these supplements will help you dispense with air conditioning and save energy.

The practice of trying to orientate a house with respect to the path of the sun is as old as civilization itself. There are many different examples dating from the Neolithic period and on all continents. Many traditional architecture styles work according to bioclimatic principles.  It was not long ago when air conditioning was rare and expensive, and still is for many places today. Examples of traditional architecture working in this manner are often vernacular archetypes, such as the Southern oriented windows in the south of Spain. In these villages nestled into south facing slopes, the use of materials with thermal mass (such as adobe) with an earth coating of lime on walls in the houses of Andalucia creates a stable indoor microclimate when coupled with location.

almachar (málaga). JACOBO.PORTILLO/FLICKR

Founded in 1400 Alberobello, in Puglia, south of Italy and almost entirely contructed with trulli, that are national monuments since 1930, it’s an other example.

Practically today the house meet the requirements of Passive House concept (a 90’s german protocol based in bioclimatic principles), that is to say, a building of almost zero energy consumption. Its basic principles are:

A) High thermal insulation

Increasing the thickness of thermal insulation reduces heat losses in winter and heat gains in summer. With a low thermal transmittance of the external enclosures low also the demand of energy to airtize the buildings.

B) Windows and doors of high performance

The weakest areas of the envelope are the windows. Therefore, it is essential to have carpentry and high quality glass in order to limit the leakage of energy through them to the maximum. The glass used is a low emissive, to reflect the heat inside the house in winter, and keep it outdoors in summer.

C) Thermal envelope tightness

The holes in the building envelope cause a large number of problems, particularly during the colder periods of the year. Air flowing from the interior to the exterior through cracks and voids have a high risk of causing condensation in the construction. The infiltrations of cold air produce low comfort for the users. Because in most climates a passive building requires a mechanical support for the continuous supply of air from the outside, an excellent sealing of the building envelope is required. If it is not sufficiently impermeable, the airflow will not follow the routes proposed and the heat recovery will not work correctly, resulting in a higher energy consumption: it is important that a single airtight layer covers the entire building.

The sealing can be checked by the so-called Blower-door-Test (pressurizing test). It consists of a fan placed in an external door or window creating a pressure difference of 50 Pa. The outer envelope of the building must have a result of the pressurizing test according to EN 13829 less than 0.6 air changes per hour (sealing value 50 Pa).

D) Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery

It consists of recovering a great part of the energy that goes out to the outside, when we renew the air used (of bad hygienic characteristics) to pre-condition the fresh air (with good hygienic characteristics).

To minimize the energy demand of the building, an air renewal of approximately 1/3 of the space volume (according to EN 15251) is established every hour. With this fresh air flow, we can provide about 10 W / m2 of heat, and 7 W / m2 of cold in the building. This amount of energy necessary to condition the spaces is not very large and is sufficient to be able to dispense with a conventional system of radiators or a radiant floor, with the corresponding economic savings that this entails.

For buildings of passive type, a limit is set on the demand for heating and cooling of approximately 15 kWh / m2 per year.

E) Absence of thermal bridges (TB)

In the passive buildings the elimination of the thermal bridges is rigorously controlled. Thermal bridges are places of linear or point geometry of the outer enclosure where the energy flow is larger than the "normal" surface of the enclosure. These thermal bridges impair the energy efficiency of the building element.

These buildings are characterized in the first place, they have a low demand of heating and cooling, thanks to a well designed thermal envelope. Because they get the little energy they need for their normal operation, from renewable energy sources, and because their facilities and appliances, are highly energy efficient. The most immediate social benefit is the lower amount of kg of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, in addition to economic savings, which can be used for other purposes, and the reduction of energy dependence.


Global warming is a reality that we all have to face. Governments, not all of us, as we shall see, are pushing for the use of sustainable energy and the construction of homes with maximum energy efficiency to reduce CO2 emissions. The only way to reduce the environmental impact and CO2 emissions is to moderate our energy consumption with efficient systems something that some political leaders do not understand for reasons that are far from the general interest.

The strong increase in the price of fossil fuels in recent years has increased the energy used in our homes, especially in those using traditional heating systems such as the boiler. The use of innovative and economical technologies in the home is increasingly necessary.

Because of that in 2015 change the original energetic system from a diesel- powered boiler to an aerothermical system  (reducing 3 or 4 times the heating bill)

Energy efficiency is valued with the energy efficiency coefficient (EEC or spanish COP), which is the ratio between the energy emitted and the energy consumed. With an input energy of 2,57kw per equipment, delivering 12Kw with a COP of (4.67 to +7ºC) (2.7 of COP to -7ºC) and (2.4 of COP to -15ºC), in Madrid per year the seasonal COP approaches 4 by feeding a radiant floor at + 35 ° C.


The technology works like a refrigerator. A fridge extracts heat from inside and pumps it out to keep the food inside cool. An air source heat pump does the opposite. It extracts heat from outside and pumps it inside your home. Just like a fridge, it runs on electricity but it produces more energy than it uses so is energy efficient particularly if you currently use electric heaters to provide warmth for your home.

The pump can work at low temperatures and there is a never ending supply of heat to extract from the air. It is usually positioned on a sunny outside wall to work most efficiently.

Air thermology is one of the least known renewable and clean energies. Maybe because it has not yet beeb developed enough. But it certainly has some advantages, the main one, that there is air everywhere and, in the air, there is energy. It is about taking advantage of the calories that float in the air, even in the middle of winter. In order for the air to have no heat, it must be at an absolute zero temperature below 200 ° C.

The system only needs a heat pump for its operation. To obtain the calories a transfer process takes place that requires two elements: an external unit that captures them and another one that introduces them in a circuit of water. To transport them from one unit to another, a compressor-driven refrigerant is used.

According to the outside temperature, the energy required involves an expenxe of between 25 and 50% of the propagated heating power. That is, at least half of the energy will be free.

The stored energy is transmitted to a heat pump which, by means of a thermodynamic cycle, allows the transmission of heat from the coldest to the hottest medium. With a cycle inverter an inverse action is allowed and the housing can be heated or cooled.

To prolong the bathing season (May, June and September, October, which does not need air conditioning, with the existing installation and at little cost), a titanium exchanger has been incorporated, thus we warm the pool, without work, with the existing pool filtration and purification pump. A thermal blanket at night, prevents nighttime heat losses when the temperature drops.

External unit

Internal unit

Titanium exchanger

An inexhaustible and free energy that has many advantages:

- It is a natural, renewable and inexhaustible energy.
- It does not pollute. It reduces your carbon footprints.
- It earns you Money. High profitability: up to 75% savings on the heating bills.
- It requires little or no maintenance.
- Adaptable to almost all climatic zones of the world.
- Can be used for heating, cooling and for the production of domestic hot water (DHW).

Just like every technology, there are some disadvantages to installing an air source heat pump:

- The heat generated is not as intense as that from a gas boiler so it is ideal for underfloor heating but not as attractive for heating conventional radiators.
- In the winter, the pump may need to be on constantly to ensure that there is a constant supply of heat. The heat builds up slowly so turning it off and on will not be suitable if you want a nice ambient temperature.
- Insulation is very important for your home if you are using a low water temperature source for heating so that all the heat is retained and not lost.

The recognition of air-thermics as a renewable and inexhaustible source of energy by Directive 2009/28 / EC was a major boost for this heat-pump technology which, however, has not yet grown at the expected rate. New generation refrigerants, the use of inverter technology and heat recovery allow the use of air-thermia to have advanced a great deal in recent years.

In USA you might be eligible to apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI).  Over 7 years you will receive a payment of 7.3p/kWh of renewable heat generated.

A renewable facility is the ideal complement to the electric vehicle (EV) as it will allow us to make a good part of our travel expenses free of charge. EVs are vastly more efficient than typical internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.


The term self-consumption refers to the generation of electricity for local consumption. The development of certain technologies, mainly solar photovoltaic panels (SP), makes possible the appearance of power plants at the family scale or small and medium-sized enterprises.

Generally it is a system composed of a solar installation (PV) of connection to network and a manager of consumptions that allows to generate energy being connected to the electric network. This way you can operate by consuming power from the mains and the sun at the same time. This results in significant savings in the light bill without reducing consumption.

A) When there is no sun and I have consumption. I buy power from the grid.
B) As the sun rises, the party buys the grid and part of the genre.
C) And if solar generation increases or consumption decreases, since it could be the case that more than the consumption was generated and then the energy would flow to the electricity grid (it is prohibited in Spain) I interact with the energy manager so that adjust production and consumption.

In addition, the energy management system allows us to plug in and turn off some loads depending on the solar radiation that is and the consumption of the house. For example if there is sun and little consumption, we can give the order to turn on the purifier of the pool. And so we purged with the sun.

The surplus energy could be stored in a bank of batteries and this energy is used in the periods in which the consumption exceeds the solar generation.

We can calculate the m2 of solar panels that we must install to not depend on grid. Taking a consumption of 2,000 kW/month. In a year there would be a consumption of 24,000 kW. We estimate a 30% PV plate performance. In Madrid, climatic zone IV, according to the Technical Building Code (TBC) or according to the solar map offered by the Association of the Photovoltaic Industry (ASIF) we have a solar radiation of 1,560 kW hour per m2 in a year, with 2,720 annual hours of effective sunshine. Therefore we will have 1.560X30/100 = 468 kW per hour per m2 in a year. We will need 24,000 kW/468 = 51.28 m2 of PV plates. (51,28 m2/1,65 m2 per PVP are 32 plates)

Photovoltaic solar energy helps to reduce environmental problems such as:
• The greenhouse effect (caused by CO2 emissions)
• Acid rain (caused by SOx emissions)

Self-consumption facilities connected to the electricity grid are legal in Spain, in principle. However, these facilities do not just proliferate because of the famous "toll of backup" or Sun’s Tax. It taxes each self-produced kWh to the point of preventing savings.

Unfortunately, the political "climate" in Spain is not favorable to these changes and makes it even harder for aware citizens to avoid the normal channels that protect the interests of oligopolies.

European directive 2010/31 / EU on energy efficiency requires that all public buildings are almost zero energy consumption as of December 31, 2018 and all buildings, without exception, be as of December 31, 2020. According to the Spanish Platform for Building Passive House concept, in Spain, municipalities are the most committed to this objective, and the  least is the central government.

If we isolate ourselves from the electricity grid, we can have a stable price of electricity throughout the lifetime of our facility, unlike peaks of consumption and variable prices. In addition we will be able to use the battery of our electric vehicle, in its case, as a backup of our installation, thus avoiding the extra cost that supposes to oversize the capacity of the batteries.


The use of buildings in Europe accounts for 40% of total CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. In this sense, the procedure for the energy certification of buildings, regulated by European Union directives - 2002/91 / EU updated by 2010/31 / EU -, transposed into national legislation, aims to reduce CO2 emissions as a consequence of the use of these, and assigns a rating within a scale, which measures its best or worst environmental performance, depending on its energy efficiency.

The label classifies the buildings, using two indicators, on a seven-letter scale, which starts from the letter G (less efficient building) to the letter A (more efficient building).

These indicators, which will take the values ​​of the Certificate of Energy Efficiency of the building are:

• Non-renewable primary energy consumption, expressed in kWh/m2 year
• CO2 emissions expressed in kgCO2/m2 year.

Energy label classifies buildings, as established in Royal Decree 235/2013, in any offer, promotion and publicity directed at the sale or lease of the building or unit of the building, and must be shown, whenever it is required to obtain them, in the cases established by Article 13 of the aforementioned Royal Decree.

Energy Certification, really has a direct impact on the Value of buildings, it is clear that the lower cost of management of the same must correspond to a higher value of the building. The higher the cost of management, the lower the value, calculated on the basis of the capitalization of the higher cost value to the net rate of return of the property.

Our house has, without PV panels, a consumption of 24,000 kW per year which represents 806.85 m2 of construction, 29.74 kWh/m2 of total primary energy per year. This places it in the limit of the classes A-B for being below the 44,6.

An installation of Self-Consumption would allow to reduce this figure by a third, as we have seen, which would guarantee the maximum energy classification and put us in the goal of achieving a building of almost zero energy.

A wind turbine can be a good complement to solar energy because it continues to produce renewable electricity when there is no sun and its installation is being evaluated. The Archimedes is a Dutch, innovative design of a wind turbine: small and quiet. Based on the methods of the Greek mathematician of the same name, he imitates a shellfish, the Nautilidae. The main features of this design are its high efficiency and low cut in wind speed, to provide the highest performance (W/m2). Quiet operation, insensitive to turbulence, low maintenance and organic appearance.

In summary, the wind turbine is capable of generating at least five times more energy than standard wind turbines of the same diameter. On average, LIAM f1 produces approximately 1,433 to 1,800 kWh annually (estimating an average speed of 5.2 m/s). The Archimedes LIAM wind turbine offers the following advantages:

- Saves money by controlling electricity bills
- High performance, as a result of low cut in wind speed
- Reduction of the carbon footprint by a significant 680 kg a year and also the effects of greenhouse gas emissions
- Suitable for almost any ceiling
- Low vibration and noise emisión

Archimedes LIAM wind turbine

Finally the possibility of incorporating a battery to the solar kit, which allows storing the surplus PV energy to make use of them later, would finally allow us to disconnect the network. Pending the repeal of the RD of Self-Consumption, now in force, there is nothing more to wait for sanity to be imposed and to enforce the European Union directives.

7. What is the future of clean energy?

Last year, renewables powered Germany for a full day and powered Portugal for four consecutive days. Denmark now produces enough electricity from wind to meet all its domestic demand and still export power. In 2016, the U.K. for the first time ever generated more power from wind than coal over the entire year.

President Trump’s budget slashes investment in clean energy — the biggest new source of sustainable high-wage employment in the world. In contrast, China’s latest five-year energy budget invests $360 billion in renewable generation alone by 2020. Beijing calculates the resulting “employment will be more than 13 million people

Trump’s self-proclaimed “America First” budget released zeroes out key Department of Energy (DOE) clean-tech programs:

• the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which invests in innovative clean technology
• a program to improve manufacturing for clean cars
• the loan guarantee program, which jump-started large-scale U.S. solar deployment, the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, and companies like Tesla.

This should surprise no one. Trump campaigned on zeroing out clean energy funding. The budget offers this rationale:
The private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies.

Acording to Department of Energy (DOE) the future arrives for Five Clean Energy Technologies.

Cost Reductions Since 2008
• Land Based Wind (-41%)
• Distributed PV (-54%)
• Utility-Scale PV (-64%)
• LED Bulbs (-94%)

These rapid price drops are a key reason clean energy has become a juggernaut — and one way we know tens of millions of new jobs in clean energy are up for grabs, something no other emerging sector can match. The U.S. solar industry currently has more than 260,000 workers nationwide, according to The Solar Foundation. Their executive director, Andrea Luecke, points out that’s more workers than “Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon combined.” (As a point of clarification, Amazon has added jobs at a torrid pace in the last couple of years, so the 260,000 solar jobs is ‘only’ more than Apple, Google, and Facebook combined.)

Another reason: The rest of the world has redoubled its pledge to ramp up clean energy and ratchet down carbon pollution, as required by the Paris Agreement climate deal, that entered into force on 4 November, a major step in the fight against global warnig. That requires a “tenfold jump” in cleantech investment — perhaps $90 trillion in the coming decades.

if governments are getting serious about climate change, as ratification of the Paris climate agreement suggests, then the market value of the companies that own the fossil fuel reserves are vastly inflated, and this could cause a massive market shock.

The renewable ramp-up has become irreversible. The revolution can’t be stopped — globally. The clean energy revolution is unstoppable, but climate chaos is not. But just because you can’t stop a revolution, doesn’t mean you can’t slow it.

The share of renewables energy used in the EU has risen to almost 17% in 2015. That’s double the 2004 share of 8.5%, and within range of the 2020 target of 20%. Reducing greenhouse emissions is a major part of the reason behind the 2020 targets, but they're also aimed at ensuring that Europe has a secure energy supply and a reduced reliance on energy imports. It would also contribute to Europe’s industrial innovation and technological leadership.

Two years after the financial crisis, the EU put in motion a ten-year jobs and growth strategy, Europe 2020. Among its targets was the aim to source 20% of EU energy needs from renewables by 2020. As a whole, the EU is on the right track, with the share of renewables increasing in 22 of the 28 member states over the last year. However, not all members are performing equally. The good news is that 11 member states have already achieved their 2020 targets. Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Czech Republic and Hungary have all met or exceeded their national targets.

Other countries are tantalisingly close: Austria and Slovakia are only about 1% below their 2020 target. But others are way off. Major European economies like Germany, France and the UK have not yet met their targetsThe Netherlands is 8.2 percentage points from reaching its national 2020 objective, France trails by 7.8 points, Ireland and the United Kingdom by 6.8, and Luxembourg by 6. Germany is a narrower 3.4 percentage points off its target.

8. And Spain what?

The European commission has sent a harsh letter to the Spanish energy ministry demanding explanations for what is arguably the biggest and most ridiculous contradiction in the recent history of Spanish politics: barriers, barriers and taxes on self-consumption electric.

"As regards the administrative procedure that the self-consuming company must follow, the Commission considers that, for those self-consumers who are not going to pour energy into the network, the procedure provided for in the Royal Decree could be contrary to what is established in this Article 13.1 of the Directive Of renewable energy and Article 7.3 of the Directive on the internal market for electricity "

Individuals who want self-consumption in Spain have to request a  double permit for connection to the distributor - design memory and access technical contract -, in addition to indicating the location of the meter, and then pass again by the distributor and the producer. The time it takes from the request to the final installation can be several months, while in Europe only a notification is required to connect to the network.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her weekly podcast has encouraged Spain and Portugal to invest more in solar energy and said they need a better interconnection with France amid a push to achieve a unified European grid. In Spain, photovoltaics do not reach 5 GW of installed power, while in Germany there are 40 GW of photovoltaic. And fofovoltaica represents only 4% of the Spanish electric mix. The way to go in this sector is very broad, especially given the hours of solar radiation that Spain has (and also Portugal) and because since the moratorium of 2012 practically no photovoltaic  (PV) has been installed in Spain

Luck with the renewable battle and you reach the proposed goals for disconnection.” Hayat K from Viesgo Energy


Todate, isolated or autonomous solar energy installations remain the best option to have energy autonomy in a home. Solar energy self-consuming installations normally do not incorporate energy storage batteries. The use with batteries allows to have a autonomous solar installation with useful life for 20 years or more.

On the other hand, in terms of solar self-consumption, although the government does not provide the necessary facilities, it is a viable option, although with a higher amortization period.

“Clean energy and efficient solutions are bridging the gap between ecology and economy. Giving people a stake in their energy future -energy democracy- is powerful and opens up new opportunities for clean energy, jobs and innovation. Now we need pioneers to bring forward ideas and make them happen.” Bertrand PICCARD

Madrid, May 4, 2017