09/06/2021 at 3:05 PM CEST
More and more people decide to ‘become independent’ from the large electricity companies in the face of the exorbitant prices that electricity is reaching. A group that brings together 200 towns located on the border between Spain and Portugal has decided to systematically implement solar panels in all its public facilities. The beneficiaries of the initiative are the group of inhabitants of these urban centers.
Two hundred towns in the area of La Raya / A Raia, on the border between Castilla y León and Portugal, have stood up to the electricity companies with a project for solar roofs in municipal buildings that allows them to bet on energy self-sufficiency and independence, and thus avoid the rise in the price of electricity.
The initiative, led by the European Grouping for Cross-Border Cooperation (EGTC) Duero-Douro, has attracted new municipal partners this summer, coinciding with the rise in electricity prices, but those who were pioneers in this initiative are already seeing their first fruits in the form of kilowatt hours at zero cost.
The project integrates small photovoltaic installations of up to 15 kilowatts “with zero environmental impact & rdquor ;, which take advantage of the roofs of multipurpose centers, old schools and other municipal facilities to place the solar panels, as explained to . by the general director of the Duero-Douro EGTC, José Luis Pascual.
Fifty of these facilities are already ready to go into operation in the Spanish part of the line and another fifty are in different stages of project processing.
In the Portuguese part, the initiative will start before the end of this year and includes another hundred shared self-consumption infrastructures in border towns.
92% price reduction
The solar energy obtained not only benefits the municipalities for their consumption, but also They can use it, at a price that today is 92 percent lower than the market, businesses and private citizens of the same town located within a radius of about five hundred meters away from the installation.
José Luis Pascual has stressed that it is a model that can be exported to other territories and that it favors an important change, because it goes against the oligopoly in the energy production market, where five companies produce almost all the energy.
The numbers handled by the developer give him the reason: the project of the two hundred facilities has a cost of about 3.5 million euros and together they will produce about 5,000 megawatt hours per year, which places the annual savings of 1,176,323 euros.
Nor should we forget the environmental point of view, since this green energy will allow reduce emissions of CO2 by 4,537 tons per year when the project is completed.
But the implementation of this initiative, which was given free rein by Royal Decree 244/2019, approved by the current Government and which encourages photovoltaic self-consumption, has not been without complications and “tripping & rdquor; put by the big electricity companies, who are suspicious of this type of initiative.
“Trips & rdquor; of energy companies
The pioneer city council in this energy project of La Raya / A Raia has been that of Manzanal de Arriba (Zamora) and its secretary, José Luis González Delgado, has listed to . the numerous procedures and delays to which the initiative has been subjected since more than a year ago they had the solar installation ready.
There have even been complaints before the National Commission of Markets and Competition due to the traffic jam suffered by the processing of the project by the electricity distributor, but today the plates already pour into the network, although they are still waiting to receive financial compensation for it.
The initiative that is now taking its last steps has its antecedents in the Efiduero cooperative, the energy marketer promoted by the Duero-Douro EGTC in its territory of operation on both sides of the border since 2017.
So far the toThe cost of the cooperative members has been 20 percent on average in their electricity bill, but in the municipalities with the plates on their municipal buildings it will reach 92 percent, which promote rural development through energy efficiency and sustainable development, has exposed the promoter of the project.
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