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What is shared or collective self-consumption

Did you know that at least 66.5% of the Spanish population has its home in vertical housing? More than half of the country’s population resides in high-rise buildings. What at first may seem like a problem to carry out a photovoltaic solar installation, the truth is that it can have several advantages. And it is that collective self-consumption facilities —or shared self-consumption— have a lower initial outlayin addition to pay off more quickly compared to installations in residential areas.

What is shared or collective self-consumption

In this article we are going to explain what shared self-consumption consists of, what is the legal situation of collective self-consumption in Spain and what are the requirements to be able to opt for this type of solar self-consumption, among others. Continue reading for more information.

What is collective self-consumption?

Collective self-consumption, also known as shared self-consumption, is that which takes place in the energy communities. That is, in homes in which there are neighborhood communities that decide to carry out an installation of solar panels in their buildings, but also in public buildings or in business parks. Shared self-consumption consists of the generation of energy through a photovoltaic solar installation and the use of it by a group of neighbors. As we can read in Royal Decree 244/2019, shared self-consumption can be of three types:

  • Shared self-consumption without surpluses: Shared self-consumption without surpluses refers to that which occurs when the installation is not connected to the network. It is called shared self-consumption without surpluses because there is no surplus due to the fact that the installation has an anti-spill system.
  • Shared self-consumption with surpluses under simplified compensation: The owners of the solar self-consumption system will receive a simplified compensation through a discount on the monthly electricity bill —depending on the surplus—. Ideal for installations connected to the network.
  • Shared self-consumption with surpluses not covered by compensation: This type of self-consumption allows users to sell surpluses on the electricity market. However, in order to carry out the sale, the owners must sign an agreement with the marketers or register as producers in the Administrative Registry of Electric Power Production Facilities (RAIPRE).

Legal situation of shared solar self-consumption in Spain

The situation of self-consumption of solar energy in the country with the repeal of the sun tax (approved in 2015) has considerably relaxed the conditions for carrying out photovoltaic solar installations, whether through collective self-consumption models or for individuals. . This has given rise to a rebound in the realization of these installations.

To carry out an installation of collective self-consumption in buildings we must pay attention to the Article 17.0 of the Horizontal Property Law 49/1960 —recently modified— which reads as follows: “The installation of common or private systems for the use of renewable energies, or of the infrastructures necessary to access new collective energy supplies, may be agreed upon, at the request of any owner, by a third of the members of the community who represent, in turn, one third of the participation quotas”. This means that for its realization it is not necessary to have the vote of all the owners, nor of the majority. The Royal Decree 244/2019, of April 5also sets the legal framework for photovoltaic self-consumption in Spain.

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In the case of collective self-consumption in business parks and in residential areas we must take into account the following. In the first case, business parks, it will be necessary to sign an agreement in order to set the distribution coefficients, while in residential areas —such as, for example, in the case of two single-family houses— it is It is essential that these are less than 500 meters away to be able to produce energy and share it and that they have enough space to carry out the installation.

Requirements to be able to carry out a collective self-consumption installation

The requirements to be able to carry out a shared self-consumption installation are the following:

  • Share connections: The participants must be connected to the same transformation center, in addition, the distribution of energy must be Low Voltage.
  • Maximum distance of 500 meters: The maximum distance that must exist between the installation and between those who participate in solar self-consumption must be, at most, 500 meters.
  • Share cadastre: The participants of the solar self-consumption, as well as the installation, must be registered in the same cadastre.

Types of shared self-consumption facilities

When participating in a shared self-consumption installation, it is essential that, in the first place, a feasibility study. This is decisive to know if the installation can be carried out, as well as to determine the number of solar panels that will be necessary, the power that is required, the one that will be required by each user and if, ultimately, the needs will be met. of the community. These are the different types of shared self-consumption that exist:

  • Basic collective self-consumption installation: The energy generated is used to cover the building’s own expenses. That is, common expenses such as lighting, the elevator, the garage door…
  • Integral collective self-consumption installation: In this case, what is covered is the entire community, including common energy costs and private costs. That is, electricity consumption in private homes. Of course, the cost of each home corresponds to the power that each owner has contracted —which is why it is necessary to carry out a viability plan—. Each owner will pay the amount based on the use that he is going to make of the installation.
  • Flexible collective self-consumption installation: This type of self-consumption installation allows the owners to decide if they want to use it at the time of carrying it out or later. It is essential to sign an agreement between the participants so that there are no misunderstandings or future problems.

We have reached the end of the article What is shared or collective self-consumption. I hope the concepts have clarified these concepts.

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