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Spanish Mobile Phone Companies Tapping into the Renewable Energy Market

The renewable energy sector in Spain is flourishing, and telecommunication companies have tagged along on this transformation. For instance, Telefonica, Spain’s top telecommunication firm have introduced clean energy solutions such as rooftop solar installations to augment their income streams.

In 2020, Telefonica unveiled a new project to sell solar products to its customers. Accordingto Santiago Diaz-Mor Bautista, an Internet of Things (IoT) product manager at Telefonica, this project targets the corporate customer base to reduce carbon emission. Spanish government slashed the ‘sun tax’ that hindered the embrace of rooftop solar. The removal of this taxation paved the way for customers to use rooftop solar as an alternative energy source.

“This led to a series of benefits for those wanting to bet on renewable energy and self-consumption,” Diaz-Mor said. Another telecommunication firm, MasMovil, has acquired Lucera, a green energy company. MasMovil is the fourth largest mobile company in Spain with about 100,000 customers. In 2020, Lucera collaborated with MasMovil to offer clients a hundred percent renewable energy supplies dubbed the EnergyGo brand.

Acquiring Lucera added to MasMovil subsidiary companies list. Back in 2016, MasMovil bought Pepephone, a mobile phone manufacturer that also sells clean energy products under the brand name PepeEnergy. According to reports from the company, MasMovil will continue selling the green energy products separately under PepeEnergy, EnergyGo, and Lucera.

In 2019, Orange Telecommunications Company was reported to be targeting the renewable energy industry. Although these claims haven’t been confirmed, they would add to Spain’s green energy investment. Orange is Spain’s second-largest telecom company based on its subscribers. One of the reasons behind the telecom industry tapping into the energy sector is the growing interest in cleaner and cheaper energy. For Telefonica, this ever-increasing demand led to the development of its turnkey solar self-consumption service for warehouses.

“Our energy self-generation solution for warehouses is very well received, not only with clients for whom we offer other solutions but also for new ones,” stated Diaz-Mor. Telefonica also maintains these solar products and other services related to the energy sector, such as efficiency audits and energy consumption monitoring. However, the firm is yet to start the sale and installation of batteries.

It looks like the telecommunication firms in the Iberian region have identified a market in the green energy sector. Nowo, a MasMovil subsidiary based in Portugal, launched a clean energy project in January this year. The project is aimed at delivering electrons to augment the company’s mobile services. Telecom companies have expanded their fangs in the energy sector to supplement their dwindling profits as the telecommunications industry has stagnated recently.

According to Carlos Garcia Buitron, CEO and founder of Ecovatios, a clean power retailer, there are solid reasons for telecom companies’ involvement in the energy industry. “I think it makes sense because telecom companies have a key part of the equation that you need to be successful: a major customer base. They have also got the tools for financing, client service, scoring product, and service bundling,” he said.

Similarly, Jose Donoso from the Spanish Union Espanola Fotovoltaica (UNEF), a photovoltaic union, applauds mobile companies’ move. “It is good that PV is being used more widely as long as it’s done well. At the end of the day, we’re talking about an electrical installation,” Donoso said. Based on data gathered by UNEF, Spain’s self-consumption market increased by 30 percent in 2020.

“We’re seeing spectacular growth in the residential market. People who haven’t been laid off because of Covid-19 are saving more, so we’ve seen household savings rates of 30 percent compared to an average of 8 percent. And right now, you can earn more money by investing it in a panel on your roof than by putting it in the bank,” said Donoso.

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