IBE consolidates its position as a public energy company in 2022.

Jan 20, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

Since its creation in 2019, it has promoted the creation of a network of shared self-consumption that will reduce the electricity bills of up to 1,500 households on the islands by 2023 thanks to 50 projects.

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IBE consolidates its position

Its vocation is to democratise energy by prioritising the vulnerable.

The Balearic Energy Institute (IBE) has consolidated its position as a pioneering public energy company in Spain in 2022. The entity, which reports to the Vice-Presidency and Regional Ministry of Energy Transition, Productive Sectors and Democratic Memory, was created in 2019 thanks to the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, allowing the Balearic Islands to be the first autonomous community to have a public company of this nature.

The IBE’s vocation has been none other than to democratise energy, always prioritising vulnerable households, and its implementation has enabled the creation of a network of shared self-consumption in all the Islands that has allowed the development, so far, of a total of 50 projects that will see the light of day during 2023. It has also promoted a CAIB Self-consumption Plan, which has helped to reduce the autonomous community’s electricity bill, and the creation of energy communities, another collective and collaborative tool to be more sustainable in the generation and use of energy. The IBE has also promoted 2022 the improvement of the services of the public recharging points that are integrated into the MELIB network.

The IBE has considerably increased its budget and by 2023 has increased the budget sixfold to 26.2 million euros. It must be said that in 2022 the budget growth was 363% more than the previous year, reaching 4 million euros. It is necessary to say that in 2020 its budget was 800,000 euros.

The entity directed by vice-president Juan Pedro Yllanes and the manager of the Institute, Ferran Rosa, attached to the Directorate General for Energy and Climate Change led by Pep Malagrava, has also served as a model to follow for other territories in Spain and other regions around the world. Catalonia, Navarre, the Basque Country and the Canary Islands have requested information on the procedure for setting up this public energy company, which has also attracted the attention of Taiwan and the Caribbean islands as an effective tool for lowering electricity bills and as a method of decarbonisation.

Shared self-consumption in 26 municipalities on the Islands.

The IBE currently has a total of 53 projects in 26 municipalities that are in operation, under construction or being drafted, and which will help lower the electricity bills of some 1,500 families. In Mallorca, four installations are under construction in Palma (244 kW), two in Alaró (200 kW), two in Campanet (20 kW) and one in Algaida (20 kW), Consell (100 kW), Esporles (20 kW), Llucmajor (79 kW), Santa Eugènia (40 kW), two in Selva (80 kW), Ses Salines (100 kW) and Sineu (50 kW). In Menorca, two projects are under construction in Ciutadella (40 and 22 kW) and one each in Ferreries (18.7 kW) and Mercadal (88 kW). In Ibiza, there is one project under construction, located in Sant Antoni de Portmany (100 kW).

On the other hand, in Mallorca there are eight installations in Palma (262 kW), including the one at the Teatro Principal; three in Sa Pobla (160 kW), four in Capdepera (90 kW) and one each in Manacor (100 kW) and Selva (30 kW). In Menorca, Ciutadella has four projects being drafted (400 kW), two in Maó (188 kW), two in Sant Lluís (144 kW) and one in Es Castell (100 kW). In Ibiza, Vila has two installations (200 kW) and Santa Eulària three (200 kW).

It is worth mentioning that the project that is currently in operation and was the pioneer in the whole of Spain is the Santa Eugènia project, which enabled the government to produce and market energy for the first time.

Energy communities

The IBE has also promoted the creation of energy communities. There are currently three projects in the Balearic Islands, one of them with public participation in Sant Lluís (Menorca) and the other two in Calvià and Marratxí (Mallorca).

The energy community of the Sant Lluís business park is the first to be set up in Menorca and has the participation of 13 companies, the Balearic Energy Institute (IBE) and the Sant Lluís Town Council, as well as the support of Menorca Preservation, which has financed the technical team for the creation of this entity. This will be the first energy community located in a business park, with an initial investment of 150,000 euros from the IBE. The 15 initial partners that make up the community have made 7,990 m2 of rooftop space available to the energy community to house renewable energy generation facilities. The Sant Lluís energy community has the participation of the Government, from among the 45 projects throughout Spain subsidised by the Ministry.

In Mallorca, meanwhile, a collaboration agreement was signed last November between the Government, the Marratxí Town Council and ASINEM for the development of energy communities in the municipality’s industrial estate. Likewise, in Calvià, the first energy community of renewable energies that will directly benefit the citizens of an entire residential area was set up thanks to a project promoted by the Directorate General for Energy and Climate Change, through the Balearic Energy Institute (IBE), which has the support of Calvià Town Council, and which will be located in the Es Galatzó housing development.

The CAIB’s Self-consumption Plan

The Self-consumption Plan of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands is one of the other pillars on which the IBE is developing its work. This Plan was presented on 3 March 2022 and foresees a reduction of at least 13 million euros in the Administration’s electricity bill each year. The Plan aims to produce up to 60 MW of new power through photovoltaic energy, which will accelerate the decarbonisation of the Islands. Thus, the current 2.4% of renewables in the public administration will increase to 34.4% with these installations.

The CAIB’s Self-consumption Plan is planned for the period 2022-2026 and aims to reduce around 52,000 tonnes of CO2/year, the equivalent of eight months a year without vehicles on Palma’s Vía de Cintura. This Plan aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the public administration and, for this reason, the facilities will focus on various areas of action, giving priority to this type of action in urban environments to accelerate the energy transition. In total, 166 solar panel installations will be carried out: 84.9 % in Mallorca, 7.1 % in Menorca, 6.6 % in Eivissa and 1.4 % in Formentera.

One of the highlights of this Plan is the project already completed in the car park of the Mateu Orfila Hospital in Menorca, which became the first hospital in the Balearic Islands to have a car park completely covered with photovoltaic panels, which, added to the 400 kW installed on the roof of the hospital, will cover 26% of its consumption and save a total of 280,000 euros a year in electricity bills. Also noteworthy are the projects to be carried out in 166 floating installations. The projects to be located on sheets of water, such as irrigation ponds, are expected to generate approximately 28 MW of power. In addition, 20 % of the installations in the Plan will be located on government car parks and will generate up to 12.2 MW, while 19 % of the installations will be located on roofs and rooftops of public buildings (and will generate 11 MW). Finally, in order to minimise land consumption, only 14% of the installations will be on land, generating 8.6 MW.

In recent weeks, the IBE has put out the tender for the execution of works on five projects of the CAIB’s Self-consumption Plan, which will save more than 340,000 euros on the Administration’s bill, as well as three more projects located in institutes and which will save more than 75,000 euros on the Administration’s bill.

MELIB network and charging points

The IBE is also promoting the use of and access to electric mobility. Also in 2022, the Balearic Energy Institute put into operation the new MELIB network, which included a series of improvements to guarantee better service to users. Thus, a maintenance service was implemented, new application management and the incorporation of 24-hour telephone assistance 365 days a year in Catalan, Spanish and English throughout the year and in German during the summer months. In addition, it should be noted that more than half of the town councils in the Balearic Islands already have recharging point maintenance thanks to the agreement with IBE.

Pilot projects such as agrovoltaic

The Balearic Energy Institute also launched the contracting of an agrovoltaic project in 2022 that combines energy and agricultural uses on a rural estate in Santa Eugènia owned by the IBE. This is a pilot project with which the IBE aims to exemplify new models of photovoltaic solar parks that allow progress towards food and energy sovereignty at the same time.

The implementation of this project has obtained funding from the sustainable tourism tax (ITS), precisely because of its driving force in the transformation of the sector. The tendering process will remain open until 19 January 2023.