According to data elaborated by UNEF, the PV capacity installed in Spain in 2016 reached 55 MW. This is a rise by 1,12% compared to the capacity installed in 2015, 49 MW, and the new capacity is for both self-consumption and off-the-grid installations. The current Spanish self-consumption legislative framework is among the most restrictive ones therefore, even considering this growth, Spain keeps staying behind when compared to other European countries such as Germany or France.
According to the data provided by the PV Market Alliance, in 2016 a new record was broken, as 75,000 MW of new solar capacity were added all over the world. These results imply a 50% rise compared to 2015 figures. China, the United States and Japan are the countries that installed most capacity, with 34.200 MW, 14,626 MW and 8,600 MW respectively.
In Europe, in 2016 the PV market reached the record level of 100 GW of cumulative capacity connected to the grid. The last year, 6.5 GW were added in the region, with Germany, France and Turkey among the top-performing countries. According to the forecast elaborated by SolarPower Europe, in 2020 the cumulative PV capacity could reach 500 GW.
This global PV development is due to continue in the upcoming years, thanks to the contribution of developing countries such as India, that in 2016 installed a record PV capacity of 5,000 MW, compared to the 2,000 MW it added the previous year. By 2022, India aims to meet the 100 GW objective.
According to UNEF, the impressive PV growth at international level is due to the high competitiveness reached by this technology that saw a dramatic reduction of costs. As a result, solar energy is now cheaper than traditional fossil fuels.
If Spain wants to get back to its leadership position in the PV sector, the definition of a more friendly self-consumption regulatory framework, where no sun tax is included and more streamlines administrative processes are implemented, is essential.