Self-consumption, the best way to save on the electricity bill

What is self-consumption? How does it help you save on the electricity bill? How much has the electricity bill gone up in recent years? Why are the big electric companies of our country now betting on self-consumption, if a few years ago they represented the greatest threat to their development?

Self-consumption, the best way to save in light

<strong>Self-consumption, the best way to save in light</strong>

Solar energy is the future, because of its multiple benefits, and it is the path towards a new energy model in which each person can manage and own their own energy, being freer and becoming a prosumer, an active part of the system.

More and more people are considering taking the step towards photovoltaic self-consumption, but the lack of information on solar energy, the lack of knowledge of the necessary investment or what the savings in the electricity bill would be , generate a lot of uncertainty.

Let’s start with the two types of photovoltaic selfconsumption that exist:

  • Self-consumption isolated, disconnected from the network, which will be the model that is implanted in the medium term when the solar batteries are more competitive. In this case, the energy saving that is produced is on the totality of the invoice, since this disappears and you happen to pay an authentic barbarity to never pay nothing more.
  • and self-consumption connected to the grid, where the electricity network complements your energy demand. Currently, this option is the most profitable for the vast majority of our customers, where in 98% of cases the famous sun tax is not applied . In this case, there is a saving in the variable cost of energy, and performing an optimization of power also in the fixed charge of contracted power. That is to say, you will save in all the sections of your electricity bill.

Whatever option you choose, you will always get an economic and environmental benefit immediately with your installation of solar panels . The best way to see it is with the photovoltaic system installed to one of our clients.

 

Juan settled down in a detached house in Madrid and saw how he continually paid more and more, for his electricity bill. For this reason, he installed a self-consumption installation connected to a 2 kW network, composed of 8 solar panels that has provided an annual saving of € 650 / year, which means saving 38% of his electricity bill at a cost about € 6,000 that will take less than 10 years to pay off, – solar-panel installations have a useful life of over 25 years.

Evolution of the price of the electricity bill

Image result for power bill

To understand the photovoltaic boom that will occur in the coming years, it is necessary to take these factors into account. The prices of solar panels are getting smaller and the price of the electricity bill is increasing. Therefore, having an installation of solar panels is the best solution to avoid paying the disproportionate electricity bills.

The increase in the price of electricity is reflected in the latest report presented by FACUA-Consumers in action; since 2005, electricity has risen 450 € per year . In addition, the price of the kW has increased more than 150% from € 1.78 to € 4.46. Additionally, as of 2017, we have already suffered an increase of 10%, which reduces the income of Spanish families.

If as we are seeing, self-production of energy only brings benefits, and with current prices it is almost impossible not to save light with photovoltaic energy.

Why have the electricity companies and the government stopped the development of self-consumption?

During the last few years, the big electric companies of our country have been influencing the government’s decisions to slow down the development of selfconsumption . But why do they do this? The answer is simple!

The big electricity companies made large investments in their combined cycle power plants at the beginning of the century, and they needed a period of time to be able to amortize them, which is why, due to the great influence they have, they have pressured our government to stop the advance of photovoltaics. With this brake, they have managed to prepare themselves for the new energy paradigm change that is approaching. Realizing that the democratization of energy , distributed generation and renewable energies are already a reality, and have come to stay, they have begun to bet on solar energy and encourage its use.  

 

However, and for the moment, none of these large electric companies sells 100% green energy, and until that moment their commitment to the environment comes, it will not be total.

The time has come to recover lost time and to bet on a change in the energy model, promoting a green and sustainable future, where solar energy will play a fundamental role. And remember, it’s time to democratize energy, to share resources, to abandon fossil fuels and to bet on photovoltaic solar energy.

 

3 easy steps to save on your electricity bill

  • Go to self-consumption . Install solar panels on the roof of your home and you will significantly reduce your electricity bill. In addition, if you adapt your consumption habits to the hours of the sun, you will experience even greater savings.
  • Hire a time discrimination rate (DHA). When you have a self-consumption installation connected to the network, it is the cheapest rate. This rate establishes two bands, with a price each. The cheap strip is nocturnal (when your solar panels do not produce electricity), and it goes from 10 at night to 12 in the morning in winter. In summer, it goes on until 11 at night. During the day you will have free energy from your solar panels and at night you will pay a small price for equipment that works all day, such as the refrigerator.
  • Lower the contracted power . The power is the electrical capacity you have contracted and that allows you to activate several teams at once. Most households need less power than they have contracted. The less power you have contracted, the less fixed cost you will have to pay, but you should not drastically reduce your power for two reasons: 1) the installed power in your photovoltaic installation should be less than the contracted power and 2) any peak of consumption would imply that you the leads will jump.

Therefore, getting savings on your electric bill is a simple process if you have the help of qualified professionals. If you want to receive a self-consumption budget without commitment, click here .

 

All the news that you should know about Solar Panels in 2018

Todas las novedades que debes saber sobre los Paneles Solares  en 2018

Solar energy as a strategic element for the future of energy is in constant state of development and innovation. Practically every week, news of technological advances is published. In the first half of 2018, milestones have been reached in the efficiency of solar panels , improvement of solar storage and new uses of photovoltaic solar technology have been developed.

Next, we talk about the latest developments in photovoltaics.

Solar Technology: 2018 novelties

There are two types of solar technology: photovoltaic (fv) and solar concentration (CSP).

  • Photovoltaic energy captures sunlight to generate electrical energy.
  • Concentrating solar energy reflects sunlight at a point (tower) generating steam that drives a turbine. This technology generates electrical energy even when there is no solar irradiation thanks to the stored heat.

With these two technologies opens a huge range of opportunities. These are the emerging technologies:

New more aesthetic Solar Panels

New more aesthetic Solar Panels

A major barrier to solar energy companies in the residential sector is the fact that a high percentage of owners consider that solar panels are not aesthetic for their homes.

Fortunately, several companies have gone to work in search of solutions. Some of the products available in the market today are:

  • Solar panels without frame . Some of the leading panel manufacturers worldwide such as Canadian Solar, Trina and SolarWorld are producing these revolutionary solar panels. The problem with which they have found is that there are no assembly equipment adapted to this type of aesthetic panels. Therefore, they are manufacturing assembly elements specifically for them.
  • Transparent solar panels . Neither have a frame and the protective casing is made of glass. The manufacturing process is the same as that of conventional solar panels but the usually opaque coating is completely transparent. They are more durable and cause less visual impact than silicon solar panels. DSM Advanced Surfaces and Topray Solar are two of the manufacturers that offer this solution.
  • Solar tiles Tesla. Unique product in its class that deserves its own section. The company of Elon Musk has developed solar tiles that are placed on the roof of the house and its competitive advantage is that by maintaining solar production can not see any difference compared to common tiles. They have different finishes: Tuscan glass, slate glass, textured glass and smooth gray tile.
  • Thin layer solar panel design. The Boston company, Sixtina Solar, allows you to customize the panels. They have created what they call “solar skin” that allows the photovoltaic solar panel to match the appearance of the roof without interfering with the efficiency and production of the panel.
  • Double-sided solar panels or bi-facial panels. As its name indicates, the sun’s rays can be used on both sides. The lower face captures sunlight reflected off the roof. To maximize the reflection of the light, the areas of the cover below the white panel are painted. The company SolarWorld offers the panel Sunmodule XL Solar Power International that consists of 72 cells of high bifacial power and that increases in a 25% the production in front of the conventional panels.

Solar highways

The freeways are part of the future of mobility.

China has a 1 km section of road under test. The aim of this solar road is to generate electricity and to pour it into the electricity grid and it is planned to make it possible in the near future to recharge electric vehicles on the move.

On the other hand, the sidewalks along a stretch of Route 66, the most famous interstate highway in the United States, will be the place chosen as a test bed to implement this revolutionary solar-powered paving technology. This generates clean energy, has LED bulbs that illuminate the road at night and offer heating as a measure in case of snow.

Portable solar devices

Portable solar devices

They are not a novelty. Clocks and solar calculators are two examples of portable solar devices that have been on the market for a long time.

However, innovation has occurred in the textile sector with solar micropanels that are sewn to the fabrics. Two of its applications are the curtains and heated seats of cars. The textile company Marianne Fairbanks is behind this project.

Solar Smart Batteries: innovation in solar energy storage

The main manufacturers of photovoltaic equipment are betting heavily on the development of this storage technology since the market demands it.

Highlight, again, the two Tesla solar batteries:

  • The PowerWall for residential use.
  • The PowerPack for industrial use.

Smart batteries are still an expensive product, but market demand and constant innovation will cause prices to plummet by 2020, when more efficient and affordable batteries will arrive.

Latest technological advances of solar panels

Solar Followers

Solar energy and autoconusmo are becoming the main energy generation method and more and more owners want to put solar panels on their houses even if their roofs are not ideal. In these cases, solar panels mounted on the ground are a good solution.

Solar trackers allow photovoltaic solar panels to maximize electrical output following the sun while moving through the sky. The tracking systems tilt and change direction as the day progresses to always receive optimal solar irradiation. You can find more information about it here.

This technology has been in the market for a long time. However, GTM Research has published a report indicating that the implementation of this type of solution will experience an annual growth of 254%.

Last record of efficiency of solar panels reached

Last record of efficiency of solar panels reached

The last years of the solar industry have been a race against time in order to reach the top in terms of efficiency of solar panels.

Almost every week, state-of-the-art solar panels are announced. Recently, the manufacturer of solar panels Oxford PV has created a panel of efficiency 27.3% . It is a panel containing solar cells with Perovskite (the conventional ones are made of silicon) and which is in the commercialization phase.

Under controlled laboratory conditions, efficiencies higher than 40% have been achieved. An MIT research group works on a new technological concept that captures and uses the waste heat emitted by solar panels. This thermal energy, typically released and not used, is one more opportunity that will cause the reduction of photovoltaic solar technology.

Thermal Solar Fuels

Thermal Solar Fuels

The solar thermal fuels or STF by its abbreviations in English are an affordable solution for one of the disadvantages of the solar energy: the storage. It is necessary to find a feasible solution that makes solar energy a 100% sustainable source of energy 24 hours a day.

The technology and process behind the STFs is comparable to that of a typical battery. The STF can take advantage of solar energy, store it as a load and then release it when necessary. The problem with the storage of solar energy in the form of heat, according to MIT experts, is that heat will always dissipate over time, so it is crucial that solar storage technology can charge energy instead of heat capture . The last prototype of STF presented is simply an improvement of a previous design that allowed solar energy to be stored as a liquid substance. In 2016, an STF application was created in solid state that could be implemented in windows, windscreens, car covers and other surfaces exposed to sunlight.

Water purifiers that use solar energy

Researchers at Stanford University collaborated with the US Department of Energy to develop a new device that can purify water when exposed to solar. The tablet of small dimensions (half the size of a seal) is not the first solar device to filter water but has made great advances compared to past inventions, which need previous purifying designs to take advantage of UV rays that require hours of exposure to the solar to completely purify the water. By contrast, the water purifier at Stanford University can access visible light and only requires a few minutes to produce safe drinking water.

As the technology behind water purifiers that use solar energy continues to improve, these devices the size of a computer key are expected to reach the market considering that hikers are an ideal market niche for this product.

What do these new solar panel technologies mean for homeowners in 2018?

Well, it’s great news. Improvements in efficiency, solar storage and equipment capabilities contribute to a higher production of photovoltaic solar panels at a lower cost.

Buildings that are powered by solar energy

Nowadays, everyone has heard about climate change . This fact, has detractors and supporters, but reality proves its existence. Sustainable development – to continue growing without compromising the future of our descendants – makes it imperative to change the current energy model, which is not sustainable at all.

There is talk of how to fight it on an industrial level, with electricity production based on renewable energies, but what can the citizen do to improve this situation? In addition to recycling, from which we must continue to conscientize ourselves, we have the possibility to produce and consume our own green energy , cleanly, and efficiently. Of all the renewables, solar energy stands out .

Renewable energy resources are within our reach.

<strong>Renewable energy resources are within our reach.</strong>

We must think of a new type of architecture, emerging in recent years, called “bioclimatic architecture” that is based on the use of solar energy in a passive and active way for thermal conditioning and electrical consumption in the home with the objective of energy savings and thermal comfort. In this way, it is possible to reduce the demand for conventional energy and the emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere.

The objective of bioclimatic architecture is to obtain the same comfort with lower energy expenditure, resulting in greater energy efficiency.

The Sun and its energy are the key to achieve this goal. On the one hand, we would have the active systems: solar thermal collectors and solar panels ; and on the other, passive systems, such as orientation and design (with “greenhouse” type zones).

In Spain the sun abounds, so it seems logical to take advantage of solar energy at home.

Image result for spain solarThe complexity that occurs in Spain for this type of architecture, is the different climatology between the different seasons of the year. Comfort conditions must be achieved both in summer and in winter based on the appropriate design.

The passive elements of solar collection are the windows and glazing, the greenhouses or galleries, and the Trombe walls, among others. Depending on the design and architecture of these elements, more or less solar photovoltaic energy is captured, which is used to air-condition the building. For example, rooms with isolated windows that allow the passage of solar radiation are warmer, improving comfort in winter as well as providing natural lighting during the day. The use of a shading element, such as curtains or an awning, prevents the passage of solar radiation in summer.

The active elements, as already mentioned, are divided into thermal solar collectors and solar panels. Through solar thermal sensors, solar energy is used to heat a fluid that is used in heating, for example, by means of radiant floor which is an efficient and comfortable system, and for hot water.

On the other hand are photovoltaic solar panels, which use the light they receive from the sun to produce electricity directly for consumption at home: lighting, appliances, plugs, etc.

Savings in air conditioning with aerothermy and solar energy

<strong>Savings in air conditioning with aerothermy and solar energy</strong>

Nowadays, this energy is also being used in heating through ” aerothermy “. This system is based on the use of machines powered by electrical energy that extract energy from the air to produce heat or cold. The exhaust air can be used directly as heating or cooling by air ducts, or exchange heat with a fluid, such as water, so that it is used in heating or cooling by underfloor heating and as hot water for the home .

Aerothermal machines take advantage of more than 70% of the energy of the air, consuming less than 30% in electrical energy. There is no local combustion of a fuel, without smoke emissions or polluting gases. If, in addition, the electrical energy they need is provided by solar energy facilities , it is an efficient, clean and sustainable system.

Aerothermal machines take advantage of more than 70% of the energy of the air, consuming less than 30% in electrical energy.

According to a study carried out by Toshiba, the use of aerotermia is 25% cheaper than natural gas, reaching a saving of 50% when compared to diesel boilers. These estimates are made assuming the electric power consumption of the network by the thermal machine. If this energy is supplied by solar panels, the savings are greater, becoming “free” if batteries are used to guarantee power supply from the panels throughout the day.

 

It is true that more solar panels are needed if you want to replace the heating consumption with them. But, its amortization accelerates in time due to the high annual cost of air conditioning for a home (half of the average annual expenditure on energy, approximately).

From SotySolar we want to promote the use of this type of solar energy systems and we hope that some day, when someone mentions natural gas, others ask themselves what is that? Is it possible? What do you think?

SotySolar interview in the SER Chain

Image result for soty solar

Edgar Imaz, partner of SotySolar, exhibited in Cadena SER, with Angels Barceló and Rafa Bernardo, the differential values ​​of our Company that provide energy savings in homes and companies.

Angels Barceló: The issue now has to do with innovation and development, specifically in the world of energy. Rafa Bernardo : Yes, because we are going to talk about solar energy, electric self-consumption, and a platform that promises to be the point of reference for all our doubts in this matter. From how it works the issue of installing panels for our house, to the savings that are generated.

Rafa Bernardo: What are you doing at SotySolar?

Edgar Imaz: To put it very simply, we are a Booking.com for solar energy. Through our platform, a client solves all the doubts he has about solar energy, receives a real-time profitability study, and then receives and compares the offer of several of our installers, who are the best in the market.

In addition, our customers have a simple and transparent purchasing process, obtain substantial savings on the electricity bill in a manner that respects the environment and also have the highest quality photovoltaic equipment.

Finally, we say that we offer different forms of financing and we carry out all the legal procedures as well as manage the subsidies.

Angels Barceló: Why is this company born? Where does this interest in solar energy come from?

Edgar Imaz: The three promoters of this project – Hipólito Álvarez, Daniel Fernández and I – were collaborating on another renewable energy project and, being involved in this project, we detected a need. More and more people were fed up with how high the electricity bill was.

As you can see every month it keeps increasing, and they did not know what to do to reduce it. Then we, as we had that knowledge, because it was the way we started SotySolar, to end these problems. And focusing everything on the solar self-consumption.

 

Angels Barceló: What kind of people are interested in you, for the solar self-consumption?

Edgar Imaz:   We cover different types of clients, the owner of a single-family home that wants to put some plates on its roof, neighborhood communities and SMEs. While it is true that the vast majority of customers we are receiving are owners of single-family homes.

Rafa Bernardo: As a help or as a disincentive to the current regulation, the use of solar energy in its self-consumption mode?

Edgar Imaz: Okay (this one I know) – This regulation about all he did was cause unfounded fear in the population. Self-consumption, despite what people think, is legal and profitable. And the famous sun tax that everyone talks about does not apply in 98% of cases. In that 2 that applies, even so, you keep earning money and being profitable.

Angels Barceló: Let’s go to a number about SotySolar, how long have you been running? In what geographical area do you arrive?

Edgar Imaz: We started with the company a little over a year ago, with the first studies and validation of the market. From January 2017 we started with the developments of the platform, and we are fully operational since May of this year.

We are happy that even though all the beginnings are very hard, we already have a presence throughout Spain. We have more than 25 professionals on our platform and sales are growing week by week.

Rafa Bernardo: How far do you want to go? What is your aspiration or your objective?

Edgar Imaz: If we talk in the medium term, in 2018 what we seek is to consolidate ourselves in the national market and expand internationally.

Our mission as a company is to change the energy model that currently exists, promoting green energy and self-consumption. That each person can manage and own their own energy, democratizing it, and converting people into prosumers.  

Rafa Bernardo: What are the main doubts about solar energy and its world with which you find yourself?

Edgar Imaz: The biggest doubt is the sun tax – laughs – but then if we find a lot of doubts of any scope. Depending on whether your home is suitable, that is, if you have good guidance and good conditions to put plates. What is the saving that they will have and the subsidies that apply or if they do not get paid. They are very varied doubts. Each client in this case is a world.

Angels Barceló: Edgar Imaz, founder of Sotysolar, thank you very much for being with us today.

Aids to lithium batteries for installations of solar panels in Catalonia

Ayudas a las baterías de litio para instalaciones de placas solares en Cataluña

The Generalitat through the Catalan Energy Institute (Icaen) has activated the subsidies for lithium ion batteries for solar self-consumption facilities. This line of aid that is aimed at individuals and neighborhood communities, has an economic support amounting to € 360,000.

With this measure, the Government seeks to promote the installation of solar panels on roofs and roofs of houses and buildings, also enhancing the advantages of this type of facilities by enabling the storage of energy to be consumed both day and night. For the Catalan Institute of Energy, this is a preliminary step to the creation of solar communities that exchange energy, whether they are citizens or industries.

The grants will cover 70% of the cost of the batteries and associated equipment, with a maximum of € 5,000 per installation and applications can now be submitted. The objective of Icaen is to guarantee the right of citizens to produce, store and share their energy while Catalonia moves towards a renewable, distributed and democratic energy model.

 

This line of subsidies for self-consumption comes from the work carried out in the context of the Taula d’impuls to the photovoltaic self-consumption of Catalonia, promoted by the Catalan Institute of Energy and which brings together representatives of municipal administrations, professionals and users. The objective of this table is none other than to eliminate the different regulatory, administrative, economic and knowledge barriers that hinder the generalization of this practice and reaffirms the commitment of the Government of Catalonia with a new energy model.

As indicated by the Icaen in its communiqué, the synergies between the different agents of the Table for Promoting Self-consumption , as well as the unequivocal interest of the Government in advancing the use of solar energy, have led to the emergence of business collaborations between suppliers of batteries, engineers, distributors, electrical traders and financing entities, who work to develop new and innovative business models, essential to advance in the democratization of renewable energies and that with these grants will see their initiatives strengthened.

 

With the clear objective of creating solar communities, the Government of Catalonia marks a way forward for the rest of the country in which it is committed without complexes to an energy model based on solar self-consumption , promoting a green and sustainable future.