Keys to the new government aid for self-consumption, batteries and renewable air conditioning

The Council of Ministers, at the proposal of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, has approved a royal decree to grant 660 million euros [ampliables a 1.320] in aid for self-consumption facilities, storage behind the meter and air conditioning with renewable energy.

Specifically, the aid will be articulated in six programs that will distribute a maximum of 900 million euros for self-consumption, 220 for storage behind the meter and 200 for air conditioning and hot water with renewables. The autonomous communities and cities will be in charge of managing the aid and the beneficiaries of municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants will obtain an additional 10% in their allocation.

Three programs are aimed at specific economic sectors, based on data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) from 2019, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, while another three, aimed mainly at housing, take the number of dwellings as a reference. main or households, also according to INE data.

As reported by Transción Ecológica, investment in equipment and materials may be subsidized; civil works; electromechanical, hydraulic, control and auxiliary equipment; the management and monitoring systems, the drafting of projects, technical reports and facultative management, among other actions.

In order to facilitate the impact of the aid on the national productive fabric and orient it towards environmental improvement, all actions above 100 kilowatts (kW) must include a public strategic plan that indicates the origin and place of manufacture of the equipment and its driving effect on SMEs and the self-employed.

The plan will also detail information on the criteria for selecting equipment and materials based on their environmental impact and durability – such as manufacturer warranties – and a justification that they comply with the European principle of not causing significant damage.

The distribution is only for the initial endowment of the program. For future credit extensions, the execution of the budget and the existing demand in each territory will be taken into account. Here the table with the territorialization of the aid.

The cabinet led by Teresa Ribera figures that these actions will allow the construction of 1,850 renewable megawatts (MW), including heating and cooling in more than 40,000 homes. In addition, it foresees that more than 25,000 jobs will be created, that GDP will grow by more than 1.7 million for every million of aid and CO2 emissions will fall more than one million tons per year.

These programs, charged to the budget of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, are the first large-scale lines at the state level specifically aimed at self-consumption and storage. They have been agreed with the autonomous communities and cities at the Energy Sector Conference on May 12.

The Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) will be in charge of coordinating the actions and monitoring their evolution. Autonomous communities and cities must commit 80% of the initial budget during the first year or they will have to reimburse half of what is not committed within 15 months from the publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE) of this royal decree.

On the other hand, to increase the information and awareness of the society, all the subsidized facilities will have to include a monitoring system. In companies and administrations, their performance must be reflected on a screen in view of the public or workers; in homes it will be accessible through a mobile device.

Beneficiaries and type of installation

The intensity of the aid will vary depending on the beneficiary and the type of installation. For companies, a percentage will be assigned on the initial investment volume -up to a maximum-, while for individuals and public administrations a fixed percentage will be subsidized.

In the case of photovoltaic solar energy, the aid will range from 15% for a large company to 45% for an SME or a small system, less than 10 kW; individuals will be able to benefit from 40% – it goes up to 50% in collective self-consumption systems – and public administrations from 70%. The removal of asbestos covers and the installation of canopies to optimize the use of space, as is common in car parks, will be assessed.

For wind power, the subsidy will range from 20% for the largest installation in large companies to 50% in the smallest systems for SMEs; individuals will get 50% and public administrations 70%.

On the other hand, in the storage facilities behind the meter, which will generally be batteries, the aid for companies will vary between 45% and 65%, depending on the size of the organization, while individuals, administrations and entities of the third sector will be able to benefit from 70%.

In air conditioning with renewables, the subsidy will depend on the technology used -such as biomass or geothermal-, and will be 40% to 70%. Public Administrations that own residential buildings may obtain 70%.

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