What entrepreneurs should know about solar self-consumption
Solar self-consumption is available in Portugal to individuals and companies who want to produce their own renewable energy. By installing photovoltaic solar panels, you produce your own electricity locally, which means that it is produced in your own home or business. In other words, solar self-consumption occurs when people or companies consume the solar energy produced near the place of consumption.
As well as meaning significant savings on the electricity bill, it also helps to minimise the effects of climate change. Taking advantage of a renewable energy source, solar self-consumption is a form of clean and environmentally-friendly energy production. Portugal has many hours of sunshine daily, so solar self-consumption is an easily achievable and profitable reality.
Photovoltaic solar self-consumption responds particularly to the needs of those who have significant energy consumption during the day: since the production of the solar panels takes place during the hours of sunshine. Companies can, in particular, take advantage of solar energy during working hours and enjoy a greater impact on reducing their electricity bill.
10 Frequently asked questions about solar self-consumption:
1. What are the advantages of solar self-consumption for companies?
- Decreased energy dependence and reduced exposure to future fluctuations in electricity prices;
- Increase in competitiveness due to the reduction in costs;
- Profitability of unused assets (roofs, land);
- Production of 100% clean energy, contributing to the sustainability of our planet, with the potential for marketing gains;
- Implementation of energy efficiency measures, namely those required by the legislation in force (SGCIE).
2. Does photovoltaic self-consumption pay off?
Yes, it is usually possible to significantly reduce your electricity bill through solar self-consumption. Most companies benefit from producing their own energy during sunny hours, so, in addition to reducing their electricity bill, they can fix the cost related to self-consumed energy, lowering their exposure to expected future cost increases. The price decrease of the technology in the last years, makes it possible to obtain very interesting financial returns, normally around 4 years.
3. Will the new method of calculation in periods of 15 minutes be favorable?
Portuguese Decree-Law 162/2019, of October 25 and the Self-Consumption Regulation published on March 20, 2020, have changed the rules for accounting for the energy produced and consumed by solar panels, which translates into a greater benefit for all owners of solar self-consumption installations. The energy produced will now be accounted for in 15-minute periods, and used to offset energy consumption during the same period. This method allows a better accounting of the energy produced vs. consumed, resulting in a greater economic benefit through the use of the energy produced by the solar panels, which translates into a greater reduction in the energy bill.
4. Is there a fee to pay for the installation of solar self-consumption?
It depends on the installed power. Small installations with powers between 250W and 1500W do not require registration or payment of taxes. Higher powers require the consumer to register and pay the respective fee.
5. Is it possible to sell the surplus to the grid in Portugal?
Yes, you can sell the excess of your solar energy production to the grid. You will need to own (or install) a smart energy meter in order to control and account for the energy that is injected into the grid.
6. Can I sell the remaining solar energy to my neighbours?
Yes, the legal regime (Decree-Law No. 162/2019) allows the sharing of solar energy with surrounding dwellings.
7. What is the cost of a solar photovoltaic installation in Portugal?
The cost varies depending on the quality of the materials, the location of the installation, the technical requirements and the size of the installation. Remember, the installation should be well sized and appropriate to your actual needs to get the best return on your investment.
Companies do not necessarily have to bear the investment in a solar self-consumption installation. SOLVasto offers individual investment solutions tailor-made by financial partners, allowing you to invest in green energy without any investment or risk (technological or financial).
8. What is UPAC?
UPAC (Production Unit for Self-consumption) is the name given to the unit that produces electrical energy for self-consumption, which may or may not be connected to the RESP (public network), the choice being at the producer’s discretion. In a photovoltaic solar energy system, the UPAC consists of photovoltaic panels, inverter, protection equipment, energy meter and optionally batteries.
9. What are the conditions to access and carry out the activity?
- UPAC with installed power equal to or less than 350 W is not subject to prior control.
- UPRACs with an installed power greater than 350 W and less than or equal to 30 kW are subject to prior notification.
- UPACs with an installed power of more than 30 kW and less than or equal to 1 MW are subject to prior registration for the installation of the UPAC and an operating certificate.
- UPACs with an installed capacity of over 1 MW are subject to the award of a production and operating license
10. Are there different types of solar self-consumption in Portugal?
Yes, there are two types of solar self-consumption, depending on the destination of the surplus energy, i.e. the energy that the installation owner does not use. Self-consumption without surplus” has a zero injection system, which prevents surplus energy from being injected into the grid. Alternatively, “self-consumption with surplus” allows the “surplus” energy to be injected into the public distribution grid, with the user being able to sell the injected energy to the grid.