Archive for November 2007

Iberdrola to invest $12.7 billion in the next three years

November 26, 2007

Iberdrola Renovables, the soon-to-be-listed renewable energy arm of Spanish utility Iberdrola, will invest around $4.2 billion a year in the period up to 2010, according to Iberdrola´s Chairman, Ignacio Sánchez-Galán. 54 percent out of those figures is earmarked for the US. The company expects to keep up similar levels of investment until 2014, adding up to a total of almost $31 billion.

The aim of the company is to nearly double its installed capacity to 13,600 megawatts in 2010 from the 7,342 it had in place at the end of September.

2_solar2.jpgIberdrola will float 20 percent of Renovables (“Renewables”) on the Madrid market next month. It may raise as much as 5.9 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in the initial public offering, making it Spain’s biggest share sale.

Iberdrola is considered the leading renewable energy producer in the world, with a global project pipeline of about 41,000 MW in various phases of development.

The main objective of the company´s strategy is the consolidation of recent acquisitions, namely Scottish Power and the US’ Energy East, coupled with organic growth.


Bill Clinton praises Spain’s fight against poverty and climate change

November 19, 2007


zapatero_clinton.jpgFormer U.S President Bill Clinton praised Spanish efforts to fight poverty and global warming as Spain’s Prime Minister committed to raise contributions to the ‘Clinton Global Initiative.

«The collaboration with this initiative is going to be extraordinary important» said Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero after meeting with Clinton for an hour at the Moncloa palace. «It’s going to benefit millions of people and it’s going to help the good intentions of many citizens become a reality».

Spain contributed 1 million dollars to this private foundation via the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation in September, in funds destined for projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the donations were going to increase, especially in the areas of global warming and education.

The Clinton Global Initiative strives to be a ‘non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.’

Mr Clinton praised Spain at a joint press conference with the Spanish PM as an example of economic growth compatible with the fight against poverty and climate change.

«I’m very happy about the announcement today because of the example that Spain has set» said Clinton. He added that the contribution and cooperation of governments with private institutions and groups like his one «could literally change the future».

This announcement comes hard on the heels of another pledge by the Spanish Government made at the Ibero-American Summit recently held in Chile.  Zapatero commited to grant 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to establish a water fund in the next four year, saying 58 million people lack access to drinking water in Latin America and another 138 million lack sanitation.

Clickcells: a new concept of solar module

November 17, 2007

Nousol, a young start-up from Catalonia (Spain) has developed ClickCells, a versatile small solar module with a promising range of applications.

clickcells.jpgThe cells may be assembled through a  patented system that brings to mind a game of building blocks, such as Lego. They may be quickly and easily interconnected by any of their faces, allowing ample freedom to choose shapes and color combinations.


Xavier Pérez, of 26 years, is the founder of Nousol, together with his brother Baldomero. The novel product won the second prize in the Technological Innovation category of the “Negoci”2005 Awards, sponsored by the Polytechnical University of Catalunya (UPC).

The main advantage Clickcells offer is their versatility in the way they may be fitted in spaces where a traditional solar module may not. Besides, they introduce an aesthetical element in the choice of the color setup more to our fancy.


(Top page and above pictures courtesy of Nousol)

(See lines of white Clickcells along the front porch and the fence of the house)

Of rice husks and solar panels

November 16, 2007

Spanish conglomerate Vallombrosa Trust is to build a new factory of solar panels in Flix (Tarragona) with a new technology that replaces silicon with rice husks, reducing the cost of production by up to 60%. The new facilities are to offer 80,000 square meters (861,112 sq. ft) and will add some 400 new jobs, according to the group’s president Maurizio Caroldi. The new plant will produce around 100 MW a year, about twice the current production in Spain.

The company intends to develop products covering the complete energy generation cycle: from solar grade silicon to ingots, cells and solar panels.

The factory is located in the Baix Ebre “county”, a region with a traditionally high production of rice, to assure a steady supply of the main raw material needed. The leap from rice to solar modules sounds certainly strange at first, but I have found on the web a corroboration of its viability in at least one separate Indian paper.

Solar-powered vending machines

November 13, 2007

Via: Springwise

beach_machine-1.jpgAn Anglo-Spanish firm, Solar Energy Vending, has come up with an off-the-grid, solar-powered vending machine that can be placed anywhere there’s adequate sunlight. Solar panels on top keep the machine’s refrigerator running, and a rechargeable battery provides power at night or during prolonged cloudy periods. A wind turbine can substitute for solar cells in less sunny climes, where hot beverages could make the vending dispensers a popular stop-off along ski runs.

The company has been working on the concept since 2004. At last word machines have been placed at locations throughout Spain and on at least one golf course in the UK, and SEV is currently seeking inquiries from potential distribution partners in other countries. Besides revenue from sales of food and drinks, the machines are also equipped to display advertising.

SEV’s vending machines join a growing number of devices that can be placed just about anywhere, thanks to their reliance on solar energy. Lighted road signs and emergency phones are two other examples. For entrepreneurs and inventors the vending machines illustrate how any common device can be retrofitted for solar and placed in out-of-the-way locations.