Archive for October 2008

Jofemar presents the world’s first hydrogen powered vending machine in St. Louis

October 29, 2008

Environmental friendliness was a big selling point at the recently held NAMA National Vending Expo, with equipment options ranging from lower-energy lighting to the world first autonomously powered vending machine that runs on hydrogen, by the Spanish company Jofemar.

The Expo was the perfect setting for the launch of the Vision Multiseller H2.  Jofemar’s Vision H2 power is provided by a fuel cell that is fed with hydrogen from a portable Ovonic Solid Hydrogen Storage canister. The fuel cell has a back-up battery for when the portable hydrogen canister needs to be recharged.

“The system created by our engineers allows the “Vision H2” to be able to work with absolute autonomy and without connection to the electric source” explains Felix Guindulain, Jofemar’s General Manager. This gives the machines a large range of applications, as they may be located anywhere.


T-Solar inaugurates Spain’s first thin film Solar plant

October 27, 2008

T-Solar, a Spanish company whose main investors are the Isolux Group and the regional savings bank Caixanova, opened yesterday a state-of-the-art plant in Orense (Galicia, Northwestern Spain).

Courtesy of T-SolarT-Solar has invested so far more than 80 million euros ($99.5 million) in this modern plant, that will employ 190 workers and will have a expected turnover in 2009 exceeding 100 million euros.

The factory, with an initial production capacity of 40 MW, produces thin-film amorphous Silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic modules. The production plant is based on the SunFab Thin Film line from Applied Materials  (California). It  will churn out 20 modules an hour in sizes from 1.1m x 1.3m to 2.2m x 2.6m (5.72 square meters or 61.6 square feet).

The nanomanufacturing technology used in the plant reduces the cost of utility-scale PV installations by more than 25%, through automation and improvements in cabling and installation.  The panels need less silicon than standard ones. Plus, they are better suited to building integration because their sizes are adapted to current architectural standards.

T-Solar has pursued a strategy of vertical integration.  In addition to investing in next-generation manufacturing, T-Solar installs and operates its own PV power generation plants.  All the production from the plant will go to 16 solar projects that T-Solar is developing in different Spanish provinces. In a second phase to begin in a  year and a half, new machinery will be added to the existing equipment to improve the performance of each panel. Another layer of crystalline material will be added to the panels, in order to achieve an annual production of 65 MW.  

T-Solar has developed a total of 28 photovoltaic plants to-date, with an installed capacity of 143 MW. Next Wednesday, it will inaugurate  a huge 34 MW solar farm in Arnedo (La Rioja, Spain).

Spain expects to mainstream carbon dioxide capture and storage by 2020

October 22, 2008


“Eliminating carbon emissions from the industry” As simple as that is the ultimate objective of the CO2 Spanish Technological Platform, PTECO2. 34 companies and 36 universities and research entities are members of this alliance.

The association has already completed a technological roadmap for Spain, a plan targetting different lines of research to be implemented in the short and medium term.

One of their first objectives is to open up an experimental plant called CIUDEN in the region of El Bierzo (Northwestern Spain) designed to develop and validate various technologies for capturing CO2 from gas combustion in fossil fuel stations. The second step will be to inaugurate a commercial demonstration plant by 2015 and to develop high efficiency plants in a massive scale by 2020.

A researcher from the Spanish Coal Institute, Juan Carlos Abanades, assures that «these are existing technologies, not science-fiction”. He is talking mainly about carbon capture, where the current challenge is to bring down the cost per ton of sequestered CO2. Nowadays, costs are in a range between 38 to 77 dollars. THe goal for the next two decades is to bring it down to 19 dollars.  

The biggest challenge right now is a comprehensive geological study of the underground in the different areas of the country to find the sites where the gas may be injected safely in a supercritical fluid state. 

There is also the possibility of reusing the gas, turning it into biofuels or extracting hydrogen from it.

Representatives from the CO2 Platform suggest that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could reduce emissions in industrialised countries by 50 to 80 percent by the year 2050. 

ICP Solar announces its intention to acquire Ibersolar Energía

October 21, 2008

ICP Solar Technologies Inc., a Canadian developer and manufacturer of solar panels today announced that it has entered into a binding Letter of Intent to acquire Ibersolar Energia, S.A., a leading Spanish manufacturer and supplier of solar photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, and absorption units. Ibersolar has annual sales of approximately 120 million euros ($ 156.8 million) and has been profitable since 2005.

“I am extremely pleased to announce the most important strategic decision in our company’s history,” said Sass Peress, Chairman and CEO of ICP Solar. “By acquiring Ibersolar, ICP will see a twenty-fold increase in the size of its business and automatically become a recognized player in the burgeoning European market. Ibersolar brings with it excellent solar applications, established R&D, strong supplier relationships, and a substantial customer base that spans commercial, industrial, and government entities across the continent.

Ibersolar Energia offers a wide range of PV modules, grid-connected and off-grid inverters, mounting systems, solar trackers and monitoring equipment, as well as complete solar thermal systems, including high performance collectors, solar boilers, controllers, and thermal siphons. The company has developed a roof system which integrates flexible amorphous silicon modules with waterproof membrane solutions, providing impermeability in a roof while achieving maximum energy production from the photovoltaic modules.

ICP markets its products under its Sunsei brand and is based in Montreal, Canada, with additional locations in the USA, Ireland, France and the UK. Ibersolar is based in Barcelona and has subsidiaries in Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Miami.

Top Spanish Renewable Energy Firms bolster ties with California During Visit Last Week

October 10, 2008

To help California meet surging demand for renewable energy, Spains leading firms visited California this last week, meeting with major utilities, economic development officials, legislators, regulators, private firms, the Lt. Governor, and members of the Governors staff regarding investment in renewable energy growth. Due to sophisticated advances in energy regulation and technologies in Spain, these firms offer vast experience, state-of-the art technology, and financial resources to help California meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard and AB 32 goals.

Spanish firms have developed and constructed some of the largest solar plants in the world over the last 20 years,” commented Pedro Bugallal, deputy director of international trade for CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Employers and Industry), the largest trade association in Spain. “California shows the greatest potential for growth in renewable energy, and our firms have invested billions in other US states this year. This mission will show how California can benefit from the significant investments and expertise our firms can bring to renewable energy production.

Spanish companies have committed more than $5 billion in the US market this year alone. The delegation identified new investments, joint ventures and technology transfer opportunities in solar, desalination, water, wind and related renewable energy sectors.

With California squeezed between energy demand, environmental mandates, and fallout from the financial crisis, there couldnt be a better time for these firms to visit. California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act  create specific mandates for renewable energy supply and greenhouse gas reductions at a time when funding is challenging. The fact that these firms have the expertise and financing to develop large renewable energy projects is good news for the state and for the economy, said Michael Liikala, president of Solutions International, the consulting firm which helped organize the mission.

Spanish firms in the delegation, led by Solutions International and CEOE from October 6-10, included the world’s largest developer of wind farms and operator of one of the largest active US solar projects, Acciona Energia. Abengoa Solar, planning to build a $1 billion solar plant in Arizona called Solana, also participated. Other firms in the mission were Siliken–which recently opened a photovoltaic panel production plant in San Diego–as well as Dragados/Cobra (ACS Group), TSK, Elecnor, Prointec, and Union Fenosa.