Just five years ago subsidised prices of solar power in Spain were around nine times more than those of fossil fuels; but in 2007-2008 Spain installed a large capacity of solar power plants than the rest of the world put together.
The stimulus effect of Spain’s program, along with that of Germany (who spent more than two billion Euros to install 30GW of solar energy capacity), and other European countries, has helped to develop the solar technology and the solar industry for the entire world, leading to falling costs and increasing efficiency.
This means that utilities can seriously consider building solar plants that can produce electricity at grid parity, and Spain can even do so without the need of government subsidies.
Bloomberg reported last week that several solar developers in Spain have just requested permits to connect solar plants to the country’s electrical grid, where it will sell the power it produces at market prices. The permits request for a total of 37.5GW, a fair bit more than the 4.2GW that the country currently has installed, and an indication of the large capacity that will be built in the future.
Some new installations have already been proposed and include some of the largest in Europe, as large as 500MW in size. The solar plants will be comparable to the giant First Solar Agua Caliente facility in Arizona, or the Antelope Valley project in California, but will produce electricity at a far lower price.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com