R+D+i. Technological Challenges in Spain II Edition [UNEF – Soltec]

As everything has changed for just 1 year, congratulating us on the reactivation of the Spanish market; and today we are already talking about the various GW that are being installed (4GW of the auctions of 2017 and out of them probably double). Plus those to be installed, at a rate of a minimum of 3 GW per year until 2030.

This is… a lot of renewable power, and welcome. But this, logically, brings challenges and from our point of view I am going to talk about 4:

  1. Supply and get everything up and running on time. In Spain we have gone from selling very little to having to start in 2019, 2.26 GW. It’s not just us, every manufacturer have their big figures. As we have already done in other countries, we know that it is possible and that we are going to deliver. Logistically it is a very important challenge yet. We’re a country of always running.
  2. The second challenge has been, and is, to adapt the investor’s price to what the current market demands. In the last 10 years, prices have fallen by more than 90%. And this is not just a matter of increasing sales volume so that the accounts come out, which also. Above all, it is a question of having a very powerful R+D and the last always technologically speaking; and a very flexible manufacturing system; to evolve the investors every year. The technology goes very fast in general and this is like mobile phones that every year there is new model. Well, we’re like that, bigger.
  3. The next challenge is the adaptation of the inverters to the network code. And this is not so much a challenge for us as it is for the power grid in general. We know that solar plants generate a lot of energy, because the network code is how that energy must be generated, the rules that must be followed. We are in the normative transition from a network code not very demanding, to another coming out of a European guideline. This one is more demanding and we’ll have to adapt very quickly. For us, this means complying with them, the old and the new, so that the plant fulfills its objectives. Actually, it’s not a complicated challenge for us, but it is for the power grid. We are going to install many large plants in 2019, mainly with the previous code and then we will connect many more with the later one, some very close to others.
  4. And as my last challenge, I link it to the end of my speech last year. Although it does not yet seem that we are installing batteries in the installations (the network code does not oblige it), if we really want renewables to be fully integrated and to be the main source of energy, we will have to start installing them. And I know you’re going to tell me they’re very expensive. But the truth is that we already see how in English speakers’ countries like US, UK or AUS are being installed. So it’s just a matter of time before it happens here. And since we know this is going to happen, we already have an inverter called DC/DC ready for the future retrofit of the installations. An operating installation should only connect the batteries to the DC side of the inverter through this DC/DC and batteries.

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