Photovoltaic solar energy

We are committed to photovoltaic solar energy

We promote photovoltaic solar energy. At Iberdrola, we are committed to the fight against climate change, which has led us to commit to renewable energies in order to make the energy transition a reality.

As part of the plans to grow in clean energy, solar photovoltaic technology will be supported by 24 % of the investments earmarked for renewables in the 2023-2025 Strategic Plan, which will allow us to increase installed solar capacity by 6,300 MW. By the end of 2023, Iberdrola already have 5,953 MW of photovoltaic power.

What is photovoltaic energy?

Photovoltaic solar energy is a clean, renewable source of energy that uses solar radiation to produce electricity. It is based on the so-called photoelectric effect, by which certain materials are able to absorb photons (light particles) and release electrons, generating an electric current.

A semiconductor device called photovoltaic cell is used for this purpose, which can be made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline or amorphous silicon, or other thin-film semiconductor materials. The cells made from monocrystalline silicon are obtained from a single crystal of pure silicon and achieve maximum efficiency, between 18 % and 20 % on average.

Those made from polycrystalline silicon are made in blocks from several crystals, so they are cheaper and have an average efficiency of between 16 % and 17.5 %. Finally, those made from amorphous silicon have a disordered crystalline network, which leads to a lower performance (average efficiency between 8 % and 9 %) but also a lower price.

energía fotovoltaica

Advantages of photovoltaic solar energy

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  • Inexhaustible and non-polluting It does not consume fossil fuels and does not generate waste
  • Universal scope Can be obtained anywhere in the world 365 days a year
  • Storable Allows the installation of batteries to store surplus electricity
  • Optimal for rural areas A system suitable where power lines do not reach or are difficult to install
  • Green jobs Contributes to the creation of green jobs and local economic growth
  • Modulable according to need It can be produced in small generator installations and in large photovoltaic plants

How do photovoltaic plants work?

Photovoltaic solar energy is obtained by converting sunlight into electricity using a technology based on the photoelectric effect. It is a type of renewable, inexhaustible and non-polluting energy that can be produced in installations ranging from small generators for self-consumption to large photovoltaic plants. Find out how photovoltaic energy is obtained.

How do photovoltaic power plants work?

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  • Thanks to the photoelectric effect, the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun is converted into electrical energy
  • The alternating electric energy, now suitable for consumption, is distributed along transmission lines
  • Photovoltaic panels are formed from cells that absorb light particles (photons) and release electrons or direct electric current
  • The continuos electrical energy produced by the panels is converted into alternating current by the inverters
  • Transformers raise the electrivity to a medium voltage (up to 36 kV)

What is photovoltaic self-consumption?

Photovoltaic self-consumption occurs when individuals or companies consume energy produced in photovoltaic generation installations close to the point of consumption. In addition to the solar panels themselves, photovoltaic self-consumption installations are made up of other elements such as inverters, cables, connectors and, optionally, batteries. This type of consumption not only saves on electricity bills, but also contributes to curbing climate change by using renewable energies.

There are two types of photovoltaic self-consumption depending on the destination of the energy that the owner of the installation does not use: self-consumption without surplus, which does not involve the discharge of surplus energy into the grid; and self-consumption with surplus, which allows the injection of surplus energy into the transmission grid.

More about solar energy

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is a renewable and inexhaustible source that allows us to generate electricity from the radiation that reaches us from the sun. Betting on solar energy means betting on the fight against climate change and accelerating decarbonization.

Discover solar energy

Solar radiation: what is its impact on the planet and on humans?

Solar radiation is the energy emitted by the Sun through electromagnetic waves and life on Earth depends on it. In addition to determining atmospheric and climatological dynamics and trends, it makes plant photosynthesis possible, among other processes. There are several types of radiation with their harmful effects on health, especially on the skin in summer.

Learn more about solar radiation

Photovoltaic cells: evolution, types and innovations

Photovoltaic solar energy is one of the most efficient renewable energy sources today, key to the decarbonisation of the planet. It is based on the photovoltaic cell, an electronic device capable of capturing and transforming light energy into electricity.

Learn more about photovoltaic cells

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