Off-Grid, Solar

Sunny Future for Spanish Solar PV Market

The Spanish solar PV market is expected to grow by least 40 percent in 2005. This is just one of the conclusions in the latest survey report from SolarPlaza entitled “The Spanish PV Market”. According to the authors this market is still in its infancy but is growing rapidly. It is already the fourth largest market in the world in terms of newly installed power per year.

Spain provides almost perfect climatic conditions together with attractive national and regional financial incentives. The feed-in tariff for PV is secured for at least another three years until 150 MW of PV power has been installed. The availability of low cost free area provides a good foundation for growth within the dominating market segment: Solar plantations of privately owned ground based tracking systems. According to SolarPlaza, at least 10 MW of PV was installed in 2004, at least 50 percent of which was provided by solar plantations. The governmental targets are to install 135 MW cumulative PV power by 2010: 115 MW grid connected and 20 MW off-grid PV systems. Apart from the feed-in tariff and a (limited) national grant, soft loans and tax deduction for loans are available options. Furthermore, the 17 autonomous regions support PV projects with additional grants. The combination of the feed-in tariff and regional grants made the PV market an extremely attractive investment in 2004. The new national grants will be published in March with few changes expected when compared to 2004. One problem that may arise from the financial incentives is the extent of the yearly budgets, which may result in customers postponing their investment in PV while hoping for an increase in subsidies at a later date. As in Germany, the success of the Spanish PV market can be attributed in part to the feed-in tariff, however the market development in Spain differs to that of the German market according to Edwin Koot, president of SolarPlaza and one of the authors of the report. The market is dominated by Solar plantations: PV tracking systems of 2,5-6 kW that are grouped and centrally serviced and managed, according to Koot. Several PV companies are developing new projects based on this turnkey concept. The number of companies active in the field of PV is increasing in accordance with market growth. SolarPlaza has already discovered over 500 companies offering turnkey installation services, the majority of which being electrical installers. “Everything seems to be growing rapidly now under the bright sunny skies of Spain with plenty of room for further business expansion and additional players,” Koot said. “Especially if companies know how to distinguish themselves with a clear segmented market approach.” The report is co-written by SolarPlaza’s management, which comprises senior PV specialists and a senior marketing and sales expert. SolarPlaza said they are the world’s largest independent supplier dedicated to the PV marketplace and offer a range of services that can improve the efficiency for all players involved in the PV supply chain. For more information see the following link: