Spain is turning to solar panels to help meet its electricity needs

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By Euronews
Spain is now ranked behind the Netherlands and Germany as the country with the third highest rate of electricity coming from solar energy.
Spain is now ranked behind the Netherlands and Germany as the country with the third highest rate of electricity coming from solar energy.   -   Copyright  Manu Fernandez/ AP Photo

As Europe deals with its looming energy crisis, residents in Spain are turning towards a ray of sunshine to meet their electricity needs.

In the past year, Ecooo Energía Ciudadana, a cooperative in Madrid, says that requests to install solar panels have increased by 213 percent.

The change comes four years after the country dropped its so-called "sun tax’" on domestically produced solar energy.

And new legislation allows people in Spain to create so-called "energy communities" to generate energy through their collective installations.

"We are reaching 200 installations in only two years, this is important. Well, this is the process we have followed, a process of joining forces, of joining work and of joining interests," said Manuel Ruiz, promoter of a self-supply group.

Spain is now ranked behind the Netherlands and Germany as the country with the third highest rate of electricity coming from solar energy.

And some people claim that they are starting to feel the benefits of solar energy in their wallets.

"My installation is 15 panels, with a power of 5500 watts, which is enough for my home and gives me enough to pay zero euros on my bill,” said Joaquín Sáez, another promoter of a self-supply group.

“Now, logically there is an excess production, but this excess production is stored in a virtual battery".

“We are experiencing a boom in self-supply," said Laura Ramos, the head of communications at Ecooo Energía Ciudadana.

“In fact, the market is quite saturated, even until 2023 when we are scheduling our next installations because we do not have enough materials and also installers and technicians."

And this increase is not limited to Spain alone. Solar energy is also booming in the bloc as a whole. Between May and August, 12 percent of its electricity came from solar power.

In 2020, that number was just 5.2 percent.