Solar Panels in Spain: everything you need to know before you invest

by Lorraine Williamson
save on energy consumption with solar panels
ASSSA

If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that you live in Spain or have a second home there. And you are looking for installing solar panels to save on your electricity bill.

You want to forget the volatility of prices, and that’s understandable. Reducing electricity costs has been the biggest motivation to install a photovoltaic system in homes, not to mention the positive impact on the environment. By 2026, nearly 29.3 gigawatts will have been installed in Spain, making Spain the second country in Europe with the most solar power. 

Such an increase is not surprising, given the number of sunshine hours in this country and the various incentives that have been implemented to facilitate the energy transition in homes and businesses. 

Before we proceed, let us tell you that this article is brought to you by SolarMente, the company that brings solar power to your home to enjoy self-consumption and increase your energy savings. We will now tell you everything you need to know about solar panels in Spain before you decide to invest.

The following aspects will be covered: 

  • What are solar panels and how do they work? 
  • Types of solar panels for installation 
  • System requirements required 
  • How much does it cost to install solar panels? 
  • Available subsidies and grants in Spain 
  • Options to switch to self-consumptin
  • Insurances and warranties of solar panels

What are solar panels and how do they work? 

The operation of solar panels is simpler than it seems. These elements are made up of photovoltaic cells with one goal: Convert solar energy into electricity suitable for domestic use. The procedure for energy production is as follows. 

First, the photovoltaic panels capture the photons (also known as light particles) from the sun and convert them, thanks to the semiconductor material silicon, into electrons. With what purpose? Convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) via a solar inverter. This conversion allows us to consume electricity in our home, as the energy that feeds our house is in most cases alternating. 

Main types of solar panels 

Depending on the technology used, we distinguish three types of photovoltaic panels: 

  • Monocrystalline 
  • Polycrystalline 
  • Amorphous 

Monocrystalline solar panels have a higher efficiency (17-20%) than polycrystalline panels (14-16%) thanks to a more advanced manufacturing process. In addition, they are more efficient on cloudy days and the losses due to temperature are lower. In fact, monocrystalline panels make up more than 75% of the market. They are the dominant technology. Although the price is higher, the difference is not as significant as ten years ago. This is the type of panel we use for homes to ensure the highest performance and savings for anyone who entrusts us with their installation. 

Polycrystalline modules are used due to their lower performance which makes these elements work better in extensive areas that are not affected by shade and that receive a remarkable amount of sunlight throughout the day. Therefore, they are often used in the industrial sector, where space problems hardly exist. 

And we end with the amorphous or thin-film panels. Their use is limited due to low performance. Efficiency is between 8% and 14% and their lifespan is less than that of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Although this technology is not recommended for homes, it can be useful in other situations where high energy production is not required, such as for caravans or boats. 

Requirements for the installation of solar panels in Spain 

If you want to take advantage of self-consumption, you have to take into account several requirements for the installation of solar panels in Spain. It is important to remember that the installation of solar panels in Spain should always be performed by certified installers. 

The main conditions are: 
  • Related to the technical aspects of the property. That is a good condition of the roof, correct orientation, and slope to produce energy. 
  • Legal conditions for the installation, permits both before and after the work. 

In this article, you can take a look at all the permits you will need for the installation of solar panels. 

Once we have clarified the mentioned requirements, this is the full process to install a system: 
  • The work is performed by a certified installer.
  • The installation is registered in the corresponding autonomous region through the Ministry of Industry.
  • The Ministry of Industry validates the system. It will request the necessary documentation from the installer if needed. 
  • The contract for network access is signed for the compensation of surpluses. The supplier gives you a period of 10 days to accept or reject the contract. If there is no response, the contract is considered accepted by both parties. 

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Spain? 

The price of an installation is not only associated with the actual panel. We must also take into account labour costs, the rest of the parts (inverter or structure), and legal procedures. Since each home has specific consumer needs and prices in Spain vary from region to region, we cannot establish specific amounts. Although we can give you the approximate data that we use at SolarMente to give you an idea: 

  • Kit M – €6,786 
  • Kit L – €8,114 
  • Kit XL – €9,538 

Finally, the batteries are not included in these amounts. Although you have to add additional investment costs, you can save up to 90% on your electricity bill. 

Subsidies for the installation of solar panels in Spain 

We know that photovoltaic installations are a large investment. But Spain offers various subsidies and aid programs that encourage both residential and industrial self-consumption. With these measures, the payback time is accelerated and access to 100% clean energy is facilitated. 

We show you the available help in Spain: 

  • Tax reduction on Building, Installation, and Works (ICIO)
  • Property Tax Reduction (IBI)
  • Aid for self-consumption: Next Generation Fund
  • Income Tax Deduction (IRPF)

What is the ICIO? 

This indirect municipal tax has to be paid for construction, installation, or works that require prior documentation. Each municipality establishes the amount to be paid and a one-time reduction is applied that can be up to 95%. 

Property Tax Reduction (IBI) 

Regardless, the most attractive help comes from the IBI. In this case, we are talking about a mandatory annual tax for owning property. A discount of up to 50% will be applied for periods, usually, of 3 to 5 years. However, each municipality sets specific percentages and time periods. 

What other discounts can you get? 

The government also offers Next Generation funds originating from the European Union. For installations of less than 10 kWp, the most common for homes, the amount can reach up to €600 per kWp. If you add a battery, you get a subsidy of €490 per kWh. 

Income Tax Deduction (IRPF). 

For the installation of solar panels in Spain, a discount of 20% to 60% can be obtained. This percentage varies depending on the autonomous communities. 

What options are available to switch to self-consumption? 

The field of solar energy has undergone a remarkable change in the past ten years. And the possibilities have expanded. Solar energy companies want to facilitate the transition to clean energy for everyone. 

Therefore, you have three ways to switch to self-consumption: 

  • Renting solar panels 
  • Purchase of the system in cash 
  • Financing of solar panels 

Renting Solar Panels 

If you don’t have enough initial investment for the photovoltaic installation, but don’t want to miss the opportunity to save on your energy consumption as soon as possible, renting solar panels is likely an interesting alternative for you. The process is simple. It works just like a subscription to a platform. You only need to make monthly contributions to enjoy solar energy in your home without installation or maintenance costs. 

Take a look at all the benefits you get: 

  • We take care of 100% of the maintenance. Any defects in the installation or replacement of parts are our responsibility. 
  • You can qualify for IBI and ICIO discounts.
  • You lower your electricity bill from the beginning.

Discover today how much you can save by renting solar panels. 

Purchase of Solar Panels 

Do you have enough budget to invest? Great. In that case, you might be more interested in buying your solar panels. Because the solar panels are yours from the moment of purchase. Additionally, you have the same right to benefit from state aid. However, the maintenance of the system is not included. You will have to take care of this process yourself, but don’t worry. Maintaining an installation in good condition requires little attention and effort. 

Financing Solar Panels 

If you want your photovoltaic installation to be your property, just like when you buy a property, but the costs of the investment are a barrier to switching to self-consumption, you can also finance your solar panels. It is another alternative that you can use to your advantage. Of course, you will have to meet a series of requirements set by the banks. Now it’s up to you to decide which option suits you best. 

Insurance and Warranties 

Manufacturers of photovoltaic modules offer guarantees against defects in the solar system, performance issues or other types of incidents. In short, if they fail earlier than expected, the technical service of each company must take over the repair. If there is a problem with the installation, the solar energy company must resolve it. At SolarMente, we offer a 2-year warranty upon purchase and 20 years for rental. However, the guarantees do not cover all possible defects. Therefore, it is advisable to take out insurance for solar panels in case of natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, fires, etc), theft or improper use of the system, among others. For these reasons, they are usually protected by home insurance. 

However, we recommend that you contact your insurance company and find out if they are considered part of the construction of the house or as a separate element. Each company sets certain criteria and it is important to know them. 

Are you going to install solar panels in Spain? 

If you have read to the end, it’s possible that your goal is to install solar panels in Spain. After all, there are several reasons to choose a self-consumption installation in your home: 

  • You save up to 50% on your electricity bill 
  • Clean and environmentally friendly energy 
  • You don’t have to worry about the volatility of electricity prices 
  • You own your own energy and manage self-consumption as you wish

Do you want to get the maximum return from your photovoltaic system and start saving energy and money as soon as possible? Click on this link and calculate your savings. 

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