Spanish PV Grid Forum

Organised by UNEF

Organizer: Unión Española Fotovoltaica
Date: 2 July 2013
Time: 09:00 - 13:30
Venue: Universidad Pontificia de Madrid

The Spanish Forum/Conference "Towars a large scale integration of PV in Spain ", held on the 2nd of July  in Madrid, it is framed within the PV Grid project.

The objectives pursued in this conference are:

  • To discuss results on the prioritization of technical solutions for the integration of PV in the distribution network.
  • To discuss about the possible recommendations for the integration of PV in the net, adapted to the situation of each country,
  • To discuss the results of the administrative procedures for the implementation of PV and the barriers in each country. Particularly, the PV grid connection, the requirements and the burdens to deal with.
  • To illustrate PV markets in other countries where administrative frameworks and effective support measures, provide a good investment.

In the first session of the forum it has been given a vision of how photovoltaic is developing in Europe and in Spain, and which are the future prospects.

The European PV market is still growing; regarding Spain, it was empathized that Spain had a strong Industry, good and well prepared researchers and due to the regulatory mess all the well prepared Spanish PV industry has had to emigrate to other countries. It´s absolutely necessary a stable regulatory framework in order to recover the industry and the knowledge.

In Spain, it was highlighted that the Grid Parity is been achieving in many application and this situation can cause a significant increase in installed PV capacity for self-consumption.

It was stressed that it is very important to legalize the self-consumption in Spain and compensate it until we reach definitely Grid Parity. It would be necessary to have a new regulatory framework to take this into account as soon as possible. 

The second session was mainly focused on the grid operators, and the challenges towards the integration of PV in the distribution grid.

The technical conditions required for PV systems were detailed commented, it was noted that the distributed generation in general, and photovoltaic’s in particular, should not be something that only connects to the grid, but it has to be part of the network, and for that integration is necessary a global overview that imply all the technical aspects and all the needs of all stakeholders. Everybody involved should look for reasonable solutions that allow the network operation to be compatible with the use of other primary sources, with the security of the people operating the grid (generators or distributors) and with the quality of the supply to customers.

It was also underlined the need of an economical, unchanging and clear regulatory framework.

Italy PV growth example was also discussed concerning the technical solutions available and their prioritization for the integration of PV in the Italian distribution grid. The recommendations for overcoming their hurdles were:

- Curtailment of RES must be allowed to DSOs in National Regulation,

- Boundary conditions must be defined in technical standards (Transparency and No Discrimination),

- Define (reasonable) self-consumption obligations for newly-connected RES, in order to ensure transparent and non-discriminatory planning criteria,

- Roles, rights and limitations of DSOs in the use of storage must be clearly defined by NRA.

- It can be reasonably expected that local security-related capabilities should be made available to DSO.

- Access to inverters and control over their capabilities must be granted to DSOs.

- Boundary conditions must be defined in technical standards (Transparency and No Discrimination).

It was also discussed the big experience in Castilla La Mancha and Extremadura Regions of connecting PV to the grid.

These are Regions where most of the PV energy produced is higher than the consumed, and the production profile does not fit with consumption profile. That´s why the network has to be prepared for both: High consumption, low production and Low consumption, high production.

Therefore it´s necessary that the reliability of supply has to be guaranteed.

One of the barriers mentioned was the lack of management makes the DSO to be conservative during the planning phase and reduces the possibilities of increasing PV integration.

Concerning the active demand management and renewable energies integration in the distribution grid, it was said that it is essential an active Distribution System Management to maximize the efficient and sustainable integration of a rising share of Distributed Energy Resources (DG, flexible loads, EV, Storage..)

The System services are the key for DER integration to support system operation.

Distribution networks will evolve to distribution systems; congestion management, voltage control, information exchange, connection and planning are fundamental tools to maintain security of supply & quality of service at the distribution level

Defining new roles and responsibilities and Coordination among all stakeholders and adequate regulation are necessary.

Regarding the barriers related to the Spanish administrative procedures to complete PV installations, which were analyzed in different areas. The speaker pointed out the legal-administrative barriers  regarding the PV connection to the grid; the difficulties in obtaining Regional Governments permits and authorizations; the difficulties in obtaining Municipality permits.

It was also stressed that the amount of money used in the administrative procedures is often not coming from the number of documents needed but from the time of missed deadlines, lack of response from the recipient of the document, forwarding the documentation, for the huge quantity of hours of "persecution" to the responsible in the grid operator company,etc.

Concerning the difficulty of obtaining permits and authorizations at the Municipal level it should be noted that: there are a large arbitrariness in the procedures and requirements for obtaining the municipal licenses; the costs associated with the payment of municipal fees and taxes are very high.

It is necessary a previous payment of a huge quantity of money prior to the viability of the project., the tax for construction and works (ICIO) must be paid, hence getting the Working Permit  and this tax can be in some cases as high as 7% the total cost of the installation

The recommendations proposed to overcome this barrier are: it would be necessary to have a standardize guide of procedures, technical assistance available for the technicians in the Municipalities (personally and / or by phone), a simplified guide for the procedures, the exclusion of machinery and equipment items in the tax base for the ICIO and lowering the ICIO rates or fiscal reductions was required. 

In the last session two European PV Associations (Check Republic and Portugal ) spoke about the current PV market in their respective countries, and which are the perspectives for the future in their PV market. They also showed us their main administrative and technical barriers whose removal can play a crucial role for the photovoltaic industry development.

It was also empathized that the future is in the “producer/consumer” ´s role and the perspective to understand this concept is the energetic efficiency. This simple concept should improve the self-consumption and facilitate in a sustainable way the net connection. 

Agenda: Download it here

Pictures from the Spanish Forum