Ballesteros de Calatrava hopes to reduce domestic electricity bills by 80 per cent
Following yet another record high in the wholesale cost of electricity in Spain this week and an increase in household bills of as much as 43 per cent over the last year, interest in energy self-sufficiency and the installation of solar panels is reported to be booming throughout the country.
In the Comunidad Valenciana, the regional government is offering subsidies of up to 40 per cent for solar panel installations on private homes, and at the same time, it is reported that businesses are reaching agreements with installation companies by which they receive 20 per cent discounts on installation costs in return for long-term supply contracts. At the same time, it is calculated that for homeowners the costs of installing panels can be offset within as little as four years.
In the small municipality of Ballesteros de Calatrava, though, the switch to sustainable energy sources and independence from the national grid has been taken a step further with a 338,000-euro initiative designed to free the village from the demands of electricity companies once and for all. The village in the province of Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha) has a population of only around 380, but has decided to set an example which will be the envy of many larger municipalities if it succeeds in liberating the residents from costly monthly bills issued by large electricity companies.
The aim is that by the end of 2021 a recently built photovoltaic plant will be fully functional, enabling Ballesteros to produce, store and distribute electricity to the whole village. While not entirely eliminating the costs for residents it is expected that the result will be a considerable reduction in monthly bills – by 20 per cent initially and 80 per cent in due course – while obviously the environmental benefits are far from insignificant.
At the same time, it is hoped that cheaper power will attract businesses to the area, generating jobs and prosperity!
Image: Diputación de Ciudad Real
Source: Murcia Today