The Basque Government and the Mondragón Corporation have launched the Ekiola project on Monday to promote energy self-consumption among citizens. Krean engineering from the Arrasate / Mondragón group (Gipuzkoa) will promote the establishment of cooperatives between neighbors to start up photovoltaic installations of between 1 MW and 1.5 MW of unit power.
Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government, has pointed out that this initiative involves “democratizing access to renewable self-consumption”, because it “puts people at the center” of the energy transition.
Tapia recalled that the Basque Country has set itself by 2030 that 20% of energy consumption be covered by renewable means. The current percentage is around 16%. To achieve this objective, more wind farms are needed, as well as new photovoltaic installations such as those promoted by Ekiola. And he has stressed that gas will have to be the transition energy. The Vitoria Executive tries to activate the exploitation of a natural gas exchange in Armentia, in Vitoria, which has met with strong social opposition, including that of the mayor of the capital of Alava, of the PNV, Gorka Urtaran.
Iñigo Ucín, president of Corporación Mondragón, called for the collaboration of all administrations to cover the photovoltaic investments promoted by Ekiola, which will demand aid from Europe and the state, regional and provincial authorities so that citizens are encouraged to take this step. The idea is that about half a thousand individuals join each of the photovoltaic self-consumption cooperatives.
Each project will need a minimum area of one hectare for the installation of photovoltaic solar panels and a financing program that makes profitability possible.