Legal framework for solar panels

More and more households and businesses are considering installing solar panels to help the environment or to save money.

Nowadays, more and more families and businesses are considering installing solar panels to help the environment or to save money on their electricity bills, but it can be a real headache to find out about the legalities surrounding solar energy. 

Having solar panels is legal for all types of consumption, whether they are off-grid installations, self-consumption installations with or without batteries...

In this article we answer the most frequently asked questions about solar panels and the legislation (Royal Decree) that we have to take into account.

What types of self-consumption are covered by RD 244/2019?

Self-consumption without surpluses has an anti-spill device that prevents the injection of surplus energy into the distribution network, so that the energy generated but not consumed is lost, so we try to consume as much energy as possible during the hours when the sun shines. It is easier to install because it does not require access permits and connection to any electricity company.

Self-consumption with surplus produces, as its name suggests, electrical energy for self-consumption, but has the capacity to inject its surplus energy into the transport and distribution networks. This is measured by a device called a wattmeter. Although they are more difficult to install, as of Royal Decree Law 244/2019, these installations also do not need access and connection permits unless they exceed 15kw.

Is there any compensation for surplus energy?

Yes! There are several requirements to be met, but there is the possibility of compensation so that if we as users do not consume all the energy produced by our installation, we can inject it into the distribution grid and at the end of each billing period we will be compensated for our surplus energy. The requirements are as follows:

  • The energy must come from a renewable source (such as solar energy).
  • The power of the installation cannot exceed 100kW.
  • The consumer must be signed up to a single supply contract for consumption with one supplier.
  • The consumer and the producer must sign a surplus compensation contract as specified in RD 244/2019.
  • The consumer cannot obtain an economic benefit as it is not a remunerative activity. This means that only the energy not consumed can be compensated and the result of the bill will never be negative.

Can I make collective consumption of a solar panel installation?

Yes! According to RD 244/2019 you can share energy with other consumers by means of an electricity agreement. Shared self-consumption installations can be connected to an internal network, such as a community of owners, or through the network, for example, two companies that are close to each other but in different buildings.

The associated consumers must always be connected to the same transformer and the power distribution must be LV (Low Voltage). In addition, there must be a maximum distance of 500 metres between the photovoltaic plant and each of the associated consumers.

What permits do I need to install solar panels?

The user does not need to know about this in detail as it is usually the installation companies that take care of these formalities, but it is good to inform yourself as a consumer. According to RD 244/2019, the following is required:

  • Design of the installation
  • Access and connection permits / guarantee or warranties
  • Environmental and public utility authorisations
  • Preliminary administrative and construction authorisation
  • Building permit
  • Execution of the installation
  • Initial inspection and periodic inspections
  • Installation and/or completion certificates
  • Authorisation of the installation
  • Access contract
  • Energy supply contract ancillary services
  • Activity licence
  • Sharing agreement and surplus compensation contract
  • Registration in the Autonomous Region's Self-Consumption Register
  • Registration in the Administrative Register of Self-consumption of electrical energy
  • Registration in the Administrative Register of Electricity Producing Installations (RAIPRE)
  • Market representation contract
en_GBEnglish (UK)

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