Publication: Charging island homes

Do you think islands can benefit from the use of Electric Vehicles?

It’s quite reasonable to agree on the benefits.

Because of the limited distances, because of the availability of renewables, lack of local fuels and high energy dependence, and because of the environmental impact, electric mobility apparently fits there like a glove.

Besides, resiliency to face weather events by storing energy in the vehicle, and reducing peak electrical demand on normal conditions seem to be economically beneficial.

kreta-1364084 car island

Image taken in Crete by Repsaj on freeimages

The research we recently got published in Energy, focuses on the effect of using the vehicle’s energy to charge the home at peak load and charge the vehicle* during valley.

This is what we found out…

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7 Terms to avoid if you need to discuss renewables

Do you find yourself discussing about Renewable Generation Technologies often?

This post can help you avoid incorrect expressions!

You might well agree that renewables are changing rapidly. Technology has not only become more competitive, but has also solved many issues or challenges that simply are not applicable today.

So, the language we use for evolving technology has to evolve too, right?

Image by Daino_16 on freeimages

Image by Daino_16 on freeimages

1. Expensive

There certainly are some expensive renewable technologies, and certainly expensive renewable projects.

But in general, Sigue leyendo

How to crowdfund unsubsidized solar

This solar power plant is an important milestone in Spain!

Since April this year, the new 2 MW crowdfunded solar park in Spain from Som Energía has been producing power. It is unique because it has no subsidies and because the energy is sold to the retail cooperative, so the price is supplied at cost* to the investors.

Image Share by Som Energía from Alcolea plan

Image Shared by Som Energía from Alcolea plan

I’m proud of having participated in this project. It’s sustainable, doesn’t need subsidies and also a good investment. The funding will be returned with no interest, but the benefit is through the reduced energy costs in the retail monthly invoice.

Living in a flat with little space for solar panels, I find it very difficult and inefficient to install one or a couple of self-consumption solar panels. So this is a natural option, to team-up with other people to own together renewable power generation. And it avoids facing the so-called tax on the sun (discussed some time ago here).

Of course there are other investment options like Yieldcos (I have shares from Saeta Yield myself). Or simply buying 100% renewable electricity from the retailer. But helping build this small project with a cooperative feels closer to owning the plant. And power generation not only owned by big corporations is also positive, as has been the case in Germany. We can say it’s a good example of the sharing economy, too…

What other options do you see to participate as an individual in the energy transition?

*Actual calculation is 36 €/MWh, which means 6 €/MWh below the market before taxes and network charges.

Publication: PV on water channels. Avoiding evaporation through power generation

We recently got published the following article on Elsevier’s Solar Energy:

Solar Energy  Water canal use for the implementation and efficiency optimization of photovoltaic facilities: Tajo-Segura transfer scenario

Solar Energy, Volume 126 , March 2016, Pages 168-194 A. Colmenar-Santos, Ángel Buendía, Carlos de Palacio, David Borge-Diez,tRczt1q

(Note: The article can be accessed for free for a short time!)

FI 2014:  3.469

You might want to have a look at the results… Sigue leyendo

Cómo llamamos al “Energiewende” español?

Recientemente podíamos leer un artículo con un buen resumen del llamado “Energiewende” aleman en National Geografic (con excelentes fotos, como siempre) que recomiendo:

Por ejemplo, incluye cómo surgió el nombre del movimiento, y recuerda el también famoso concepto “Waldsterben”, que también tuvo mucho poder movilizador.

El marketing de la estrategia, para la involucración de la gente en una iniciativa tan ambiciosa es fundamental. Por eso pienso que ponerle un nombre atractivo es importante.

En Francia se habla de la “Transition Energetique pour la croissance verte“, idea que incluye transición y crecimiento, ambos conceptos positivos.

Qué nombre le ponemos?

Source: Freeimages by Nick Normann,

Fuente: Freeimages por Nick Normann,

Aquí en España… Sigue leyendo

The grid as an emergency supply?

It’s official. Finally Spain has the most toll-intensive consumer power generation (what is called self-consumption) law in the world. The so-called “sun tax” is in place.

It is important to understand the worries of the regulator here;

Given the high fixed costs of the system, further reductions of electricity demand (as with self-consumption) increase the price of energy in a Grid independence cycle. The goal of increasing the toll on self-consumption is to ensure the system costs are covered, delay the implementation of self-consumption (starting in the islands and small systems), delay consumer energy storage (in fact it is also a “battery tax”) and (try to) avoid further political problems. Of course, it is not the best solution, academics and regulatory experts agree that politically fixed costs that have to be paid by all citizens shouldn’t be in the tariff but evenly paid from the nation’s bugdet (like the extra-costs for electricity in the islands).

Image by Cancia Leirissa on

“Grid Emergency Exit”                                                       Image by Cancia Leirissa on

What are the consequences? Rising prices, and the fact that fixed costs (for the contracted power) are surging, push the active consumer to look for the following solutions:

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No es la crisis, es la eficiencia!

Uno de los motivos principales de la sobrecapacidad de generación en España, fueron las expectativas de crecimiento de la demanda eléctrica erróneas. Este menor consumo contribuye al déficit de tarifa, porque hay menos kWh consumidos entre los que repartir los costes crecientes del sistema y si no se sube suficiente (la parte política) el precio… ¡Voilá deficit!

Creo que lo explicado brevemente arriba es fácil de entender para cualquiera. Por otro lado, la razón por la que se asume que el consumo eléctrico ha descendido en los últimos años es la crisis económica que comenzó en España en 2008. Si la causa es la crisis, en cuanto se supere, volverá a crecer el consumo de manera lineal durante al menos 5 o 6 años*.

Esto obviamente es así para los consumos industriales, donde si las empresas cierran se reduce el consumo. Sin embargo, en el sector residencial, que supone aproximadamente un 25% del consumo eléctrico, quizás no esté tan claro. Y eso por qué?

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