Solaranlagen auf Mallorca
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Solar plants on Mallorca: Potential burned!

More and more people are discussing solar installations in Mallorca. Sensibly, the sun shines here now really enough. And regionality in electricity generation makes an incredible amount of sense because the transportation losses of electricity are immense.

On my finca in Pollença, I took the plunge and invested in a solar system. The sun of Mallorca seemed to me a reliable source of green energy. But as is so often the case, the devil is in the details.

Solar plants in Mallorca are promoted

First, the good news: the use of solar panels in Mallorca is encouraged. According to a recent article in the Mallorca newspaper, individuals and businesses can even recover up to two-thirds of their investment costs. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? In my case it is supposed to be one third, how exactly that is calculated I honestly haven’t really understood yet …

But the process is not as smooth as it seems at first glance. It is only more than a year after installing my solar system that I see the end of the bureaucratic tunnel and expect to receive the promised subsidies soon. While I appreciate the environmental friendliness of the plant, there is the question of profitability.

Feeding into the power grid has its pitfalls. A special and expensive meter is required. In addition, the remuneration for electricity fed into the grid is marginal, just 5 cents maximum. And only up to the amount of your own electricity consumption. Given the high cost of battery storage, full self-sufficiency does not seem to make financial sense.

“So why invest?” many ask. For me, it was a matter of feeling good. And I could afford it. But I absolutely understand those who hesitate. Especially when you consider how much unused land lies fallow in the island’s interior. Land that would be ideal for solar farms. But cost effectiveness remains an obstacle. Many of the property owners there do not have the necessary capital for such an upfront investment. Most of the land is agricultural, and the question of whether it needs to be rezoned for the installation of solar panels in Mallorca remains unanswered.

An exemplary case of solar installations in Mallorca, just reported in the Mallorca newspaper, is that of a Swiss woman from Manacor. She submitted her application for funding over a year ago and is still waiting for a response from the state government. Despite the confirmation of her application and an investment amount of 27,000 euros for her 10-kilowatt system, she is still waiting for a subsidy of around 16,000 euros. And she is not alone. Over 13,000 applications for photovoltaic subsidies are currently stuck in the system.

Prestige projects come before …

Source: Mallorca Newspaper, A solar park on the site of the former cement plant with a capacity of 8.6 megawatts supplies part of the necessary green energy. | PHOTO: NELE BENDGENS

It is tragic that while the island struggles with water scarcity and declining groundwater levels, the potential of renewable energy is not being fully exploited. Instead of investing in viable and sustainable projects, huge prestige projects, such as the hydrogen plant recently discussed in the media, are being pushed forward. This plant, which began operations earlier this year, demonstrates the potential of green energy in Mallorca, but also the challenges that come with it.

As long as the electricity market here is a de facto monopoly market. And as long as it is not attractive or necessary due to political pressure for the energy giant endesa to approach the consumers (or even the “neo-producers”), probably not much will continue to happen. And solar technology will basically remain a luxury project that can be afforded by those who are able to bear and pre-finance the at least 5-digit sums themselves, at least to a considerable extent.

Finally, it is to be hoped that politics and the responsible authorities recognize the signs of the times and promote the expansion of renewable energies on Mallorca quickly and unbureaucratically. Only in this way can we ensure that our beautiful island remains a paradise for future generations.

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