As a result of the changes in the electricity bill that took effect in June 2021 in Spain, many households have asked the same question: what can I do to reduce my electricity bill?
Apart from practical advice and adjustments in our life habits, there is another innovative and interesting way. The production of our own energy : electrical self-consumption.
What is self-consumption?
Self-consumption is the own production of energy for direct consumption. Its main characteristic is obtaining electricity from renewable energies .
Clean energies have advanced to become a real and economical alternative for electricity production. In Spain, self-consumption is obtained mainly from photovoltaic panels and mini-wind mills .
More and more households are considering investing in this type of solution as an option to reduce the consumption of their electricity bill. This possibility of generating part of our energy means a reduction in costs and greater autonomy in electricity production.
Every day we see buildings crowned by “photovoltaic blankets” . These teams have changed the current landscape, being installed both in industries and in homes.
Photovoltaic panels take advantage of solar radiation to produce electrical energy for consumption. These plates increase their efficiency with continued radiation. That is why Spain is a renewable paradigm as it has more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
Taking advantage of this source reduces the production of electrical energy through fossil fuels and, therefore, the environmental footprint. For this reason, there are more and more initiatives that seek to encourage the contracting and installation of these technologies.
Their versatility lies in the fact that they can be installed on all types of roofs . Whether flat, sloped, large or small. All types of buildings have the possibility of benefiting from this type of collectors.
How does self-consumption by solar capture work?
Any photovoltaic capture system must have:
Photovoltaic plates . They are made up of capture cells that produce electricity from the reception of sunlight.
An accumulator . It stores energy through small batteries to take advantage of it when there is no solar radiation.
A monitoring team . It controls the production and the condition of the batteries to prevent their overcharging and discharge, extending their useful life.
An electronic inverter . It converts the direct current generated by the photovoltaic panel into a current suitable for direct consumption.
Its installation is simple and versatile . The number of companies specializing in the assembly and configuration of these collectors is growing, both for private users and companies.
This energy takes advantage of the action of the wind to produce electricity through small generators. Unlike large windmills, mini windmills are more affordable to install.
The electricity obtained with these mini-mills more than covers domestic needs . This is one of the reasons why today it is one of the favorite options to bet on self-consumption.
The location of this equipment is not exclusive to covers . Its installation in projections, terraces or secondary buildings is very common.
How does wind self-consumption work?
Similar to photovoltaic installations, wind systems for self-consumption have:
A wind or mini wind generator . It produces electrical power of up to 100 kW from the force of the wind 24 hours a day.
An accumulator . It is similar to solar, but with constant operation both day and night.
A regulator or monitor . Controls and regulates energy production.
Mini wind energy is a usable, constant and silent resource that produces energy close to the place of consumption, thus reducing transport costs.
How to adapt my home for self-consumption?
First of all, it is advisable to contact professionals who will advise you and propose the ideal solution for your home.
The conditions of location, sunlight and consumption habits can favor the contracting of the chosen system. For example, solar collection is more effective in the center and south of the peninsula.
For its part, wind power is more effective at relative altitudes and close to sea level . Taking advantage of air currents is key to generating an efficient system.
The investment in these facilities is today very affordable . They are somewhat more expensive projects than conventional solutions, but their long useful life, low maintenance cost and free source of energy make self-consumption a very profitable cost in the medium and long term.
The electricity consumption has grown in recent months as a result of the increase in consumer demand for small appliances (phones, tablets, computers, etc.) as well as to the increased length of stay at home resulting from the pandemic.
The increase in hours of consumption in lighting and the use of electrical appliances has resulted in a notable increase in electricity costs. Reducing consumption is a necessity , and also an exercise in responsibility.
Renewable energies: present and future of energy
Spanish legislation is adapting to the new energy reality . The climate change law sets the target for a renewable share of 32% . This includes all systems: solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, aerothermal, etc.
For self-sufficiency in homes, the best option is photovoltaic capture . Improvements and research in other types of energy is increasingly completing the offer. The main objective of these energies is to reduce their contracting cost in favor of consumption performance.
The 21st century is the century of renewable energies, and in this sense self-consumption is established as a valid, real, efficient and economic solution . Investing in it is investing in economy, sustainability and efficiency.
Javier Martínez Moronta , BIM architect with a specialization in Energy Efficiency and professor at the International University of La Rioja.