Spain is famed for boasting more than 300 days of sunshine every year, which means that it is the perfect country to consider installing solar panels on your home. This is especially true given that the cost-of-living crisis means that energy bills are higher than ever in Spain, so having your own cost-effective energy source attached to your home might be an added incentive to take the plunge and research solar panels in Spain. How much will they cost? What are the pros and cons of installing them? Here’s everything you need to know about solar panels in Spain:
What are Solar Panels?
Solar panels are effectively large batteries, usually attached to the roof of your home, that harness the power of the sun and turn it into energy. Solar panels work by absorbing the sunlight via their photovoltaic cells, which generated direct current (DC) electricity and is converted into alternating current (AC) using inverter technology. The AC power created by your solar panel is then distributed to the home via an electrical panel. The more solar panels you have, or the larger your solar panel is, the more electricity it will produce.
The Benefits of using Solar Panels?
There are many benefits of adding solar panels to your property. They can help you to save money on your energy bills, and they are a clean and green form of energy. Other benefits include reducing your carbon footprint and your personal reliance on fossil fuels, and avoiding the common problem of electric metre tripping. And the good news is that the lowering cost of installing solar panels makes them more accessible than ever. The amount of solar power created by private properties increased by 102% in 2021, and this is a trend that is only forecast to grow.
What Type of Solar Panels Are There?
If you’re thinking of adding solar panels to your home, then there are two different types of solar panel installations to choose between. These are on-grid or off-grid solar panels. With on-grid solar panels, the unit is connected to your utility company's power grid. This means that any excess energy which is created can be sold back to the grid. This will reduce your costs and your monthly energy bill considerably. This is the most popular installation in Spain, but in rural locations it can mean that if your utility company has a power outage, you will lose all power. Off-grid systems are not connected to the utility company's energy network. That means that any excess energy you generate will be stored in an additional battery. This energy can then be used at night or when there is little to no sunlight. Whilst this system may be more reliable, the initial cost of setting up an off-grid solar panel system is higher.
Why Install Solar Panels in Spain?
As mentioned above, the sunny weather in Spain makes it a great place to install solar panels. Even in the winter, there is enough sunshine to generate electricity and save money on your energy bills. But other reasons include the opportunity to play your part in protecting the planet.
Sadly, there is no longer energy subsidies for installing solar panels in Spain: these were phased out a decade ago. In fact, in 2012 there was a 7% tax added to both conventional and renewable electricity sales in Spain with subsidies and other incentives becoming a thing of the past.
How much will it cost to install solar panels in my Spanish property?
Perhaps the most frequently asked question about solar panels in Spain is how much they will cost to install. This will be determined by several factors, not least if you go for an on-grid or off-grid installation. You should expect the lowest priced off-grid installation to cost around 5,000 euros. This kind of system would be suitable for a small home with between two and three bedrooms. If you have a larger home and need a bigger 7.5KW system with battery storage then you can expect to pay approximately 7,500 Euros including VAT, which would be suitable for medium-sized properties with three or more bedrooms.A 10KW system which would be suitable for larger homes would cost upwards of 10,000 Euros inclusive of VAT. These would typically include larger storage batteries of around 900AH.
If you’re on a tighter budget, then look to an on-grid installation. These tend to be a little cheaper and you should expect to pay between 4,000 Euros for a 2.5KW system to 6,500 Euros for a 5KW system.
How Do I Clean My Solar Panels?
Solar Panels should provide your home with green and efficient energy for at least 25 year provided they are well maintained and kept clean and free from debris. It is recommended that you should give them a clean between two and four times each year. Running a hose over them or using a leaf blower should be sufficient to keep them running efficiently. Any debris, dirt or mess should be removed by occasional rain, but if your region is experiencing a dry spell then you may wish to remove this manually too.
Solar panels are very durable and can withstand extreme weather including snow, rain, hail and high temperatures, so no matter how unpredictable the weather in your region, your solar panels should be up to the test!
Will Solar Panels Save Me Money?
Energy costs are sky rocketing in Spain and across Europe, so installing solar panels could help to save you money on your energy bills. The amount you could save will be determined by your usage, the amount of sunlight you get, your tariff and the installation costs. There is sadly no singular answer to this question. However estimates suggest a family living in a 120 sqm property with four members with their own independent solar panel installation that features south facing solar panels could produce on average around 5,843-kilowatt hours per year. This would save them 1,684 euros per year or 8,420 euros over five years. This means that in most cases the initial installation cost of the panels would be repaid within five years.
Are there any Grants or Subsidies to Help Pay for my Solar Panels?
The simple answer to this question is yes! On June 29, 2021, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved Royal Decree 477/2021 which allows direct grants to autonomous regions, to incentivise the installation of self-consumption and storage units, for both businesses and individuals. This programme is currently scheduled to end in December 2023, meaning there’s no better time to install solar panels in your home. To find out more about these grants and schemes, follow this link:
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