Roquetas De Mar Aquarium, like many businesses, is trying to cope with rising electricity costs. But its case is particularly striking because its energy consumption is huge in order to keep its facilities operating and, unlike other activities, they can't be turned off as they keep their animals alive.
They were not affected by the rise in electricity prices last year, since they had a contract at a fixed price. However, when that contract expires, their energy bills have more than tripled in a few months. Enrique Fernandez (manager of IDEAL) said that he paid 6,000 euros per month last December for electricity, and more than 20,000 this January.
The energy cost has changed every time the time slot is used, owing to the refusal by the electricity companies to negotiate a fixed rate again. It's a mess, admits its manager. The different tariffs have a huge influence on how much consumption is the same each month. However, the cost of energy varies depending on how many hours are used and what the hour changes.
Investments in the Roquetas de Mar Aquarium are being held back by the explosive rise in energy prices and their monthly variations. The manager of the aquarium said that until the situation stabilizes, he wouldn't be able to think of any investment. He had many plans for the facility's improvement, including expanding it using an area of over 500 square meters. But they'll have to wait for better times.
This year's novelty is the introduction of a photocall, which allows visitors to take photos with different backgrounds in order to recall their visit. These photos can be downloaded via the Internet using a QR code.
Since the center was integrated into the Playa Senator group a few years ago, it has increased plans to use solar energy to reduce consumption. However, these plans are still awaiting municipal permits. The new plates will be mounted on the roof and not visible from the outside.
The Aquarium has good prospects this summer due to the rising cost of electricity. The forecast predicts that the same number of national tourists will visit this year as last year. They filled hotels and tourist shops at levels not seen in decades. It is expected that this year, in addition to the national tourists, foreign tourists will also be arriving. This will help extend the season beyond what was usual for July and August.
The new equipment is expected to reduce electricity consumption by 20%, although it cannot be installed until the summer because of the insane rise in electricity prices, which is driving many people and companies to invest in this type renewable energy system. This is something that companies in the sector are unable to handle.
Enrique Fernandez stated that while the projection is to amortize the investment over a period of 4 to 5 years, but that "apart from amortizing, it is something we all should do because it's the only way to achieve energy independence."