Archive for the ‘Our news’ category

Vice President Al Gore Touts Spain’s Leadership in Energy and Infrastructure

March 20, 2009

Vice President Al Gore recognized Spain as one of the world’s top innovators of renewable energy and high-speed rail transportation.

Speaking at the Spain-U.S. Business Sustainability Conference on March 17, Gore cited improved energy and climate technologies as the key to solving three of the most pressing global issues – the global economic crisis, climate crisis and security crisis. He said that if you looked for the common thread between the three, it is an overdependence on outdated, heavily polluting carbon-based technologies.

“The convergence of the problems is very clear,” Gore said. “Green infrastructure is the option of choice to solve the climate and economic crisis. We need sources that are free forever, like the sun, wind and earth. Spain is one of the leading countries in all of these areas.”

Al Gore, speaking at the Spain-US Business Sustainability Conference

He also stressed the close working relationship between U.S. and Spanish businesses and their role in helping speed the creation and adoption of advanced, green technology.

“Renewable energy production, high-speed transport systems and infrastructure construction and management are the best ways to stimulate the global economy and help address the climate crisis,” Gore continued. “We need leadership in both the political and business sectors. The close working relationship between Spain and the U.S. in these areas is a model for all others to follow.”

His Royal Highness, Felipe de Borbón, reiterated Spain’s political commitment to solving environmental problems, stimulating investment in these sectors, promoting business cooperation and ensuring Spain remains at the forefront of renewable technologies.

“This conference is a major milestone in the relationship between Spain and the United States, both in the private and public sectors,” said the Prince. “The idea of sustainable growth should underlie the solutions for Spain’s economy and environment. Only by working together with U.S. businesses and government as well as coordinating our needs and priorities can we get our countries, and world, back on track.”


More than 100 U.S. and Spanish Companies to Participate in Renewable Energy Forum in Miami

February 19, 2009

Tomorrow (February, Friday 20th), around 100 companies from the U.S. and Spain, as well as investment promotion institutions from Florida, will be meeting at a special event organized by the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) and the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Miami, along with the Main Council of Spanish Chambers of Commerce, the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), Enterprise Florida, the Spain-Florida Foundation and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Florida.


The event’s main objective is to find new investment opportunities and encourage business cooperation between Spain and the U.S.  In order to facilitate a direct communication line with potential commercial and investment partners, the Spanish participants will have the chance to have direct contact with U.S. business people who are interested in establishing strategic alliances.  Moreover, the participating Spain-based renewable energy and environmental technology companies will participate in a seminar regarding their growing industries.


The event will be inaugurated by His Majesty King of Spain Juan Carlos I, along with the Spanish Secretary of Commerce, Silvia Iranzo.  The governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, and the mayor of Miami, Manny Diaz, will represent U.S. institutions.  The event will be attended by some of the main Spanish business players in the field of renewable energy, such as Endesa, Unión FenosaIberdrola, T-Solar, Siliken or GreenFuel Corp and local heavyweights such as NextEra Energy Resources (FPL group).


The U.S. is Spain’s sixth largest export partner, when exports are measured in monetary value, and the first outside the European Union.  During 2008, the U.S. spent more than $9 billion in Spanish products and services.  At the same time, the U.S. companies were the sixth largest foreign suppliers to the Spanish market.  Spanish investment in the U.S. is steadily growing, having tripled between 2005 and 2007. Nearly 400 Spanish companies operate in Florida, making it the state with the largest concentration of Spanish investment.

Special report by Technology Review (MIT) on the Spanish wind industry

May 10, 2008

A complete rundown of the latest developments and technologies in the Spanish wind power industry may be found in a new special by Technology Review. The report (by Cynthia Graber) may be downloaded as a pdf file here.

It tries to catch up with the fast evolution of the wind industry in Spain in the last two years, characterised by a dramatic growth. Installed capacity in the country doubled in only three years, from 2003 to 2006, and is expected to double again by 2010. Spanish companies rank in the world’s top 10 among both wind-farm operators and turbine manufacturers.

In the time since the last report took a look at things, the sector has matured. Legislators and companies have learned how to deal succesfully with the challenges of integrating such a large proportion of wind power into the system. Wind forecasting, a problem for grid operators everywhere, has been taken very seriously by wind farm operators in Spain, that need to give accurate predictions to the grid or risk paying penalties. This has led to Spanish companies taking the lead in microsite prediction. Real-time control centers make thing easier for operators, allowing them to manage wind farms that may be located all around the world, through fiber-optic channels and by satellite.

A great advantage for turbine and component manufacturers in Spain is having infrastructures such as the ones available at the Center for Cener Headquarters at Sarriguren (Navarra)Renewable Energy Research (CENER). The Wind Turbine Test Laboratory (LEA) in Navarra, for instance, is a unique installation, the largest facility of its kind in the world.

Companies may test there all their components (Blades, Powertrains, Electrical, Nacelles, compound materials) as well as perform field tests in an outdoor experimental wind farm.

Spain-US Business Development Mission to the State of Texas

April 27, 2008

In four years time, Spain has quadrupled its investments in the United States. Spain´s growing involvement with the U.S. is manifested in the intensification of visits by Spanish trade delegations. Last year, our office organized an Investment Forum in Chicago. This year, first a Spanish trade mission traveled to Washington and Colorado and last week another group visited the states of Massachussetts and Pennsilvania. Next month (May 11- 16), it will be the turn of Texas.

The Honorable Eduardo Aguirre, U.S. Ambassador to Spain, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain will lead a this mission involving 25 Spanish companies from the following sectors: energy, infrastructures, life sciences, information technology and food products. They will visit be touring three main cities (Dallas, Austin and Houston), interacting with the state’s foremost business development institutions, research centers and especially potential business partners. Some confirmed participants are BioHouston, the NASA Space Station and the Houston Technology Center.

Specifically the mission will promote:

  • Direct investments by Spanish companies
  • Joint ventures with US companies
  • Import-Export-Distribution
  • Exchange of know-how
  • Licensing agreements

Besides the Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain, the organization will be led by Foreign Commercial Service in Texas and key business organizations in Dallas, Austin and Houston. (Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and Opportunity Houston). The Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson, the Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Commerce Israel Hernández and the General Director of the US Commercial Service in Washington will also participate on the mission, according to the program.

Leading Industries Travel to Spain for Knowledge Exchange

May 30, 2007

The Trade Commission of Spain in Chicago, in partnership with the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) will host an Inverse Trade Mission to Spain on June 1-8, 2007.

The multi-industry event includes nearly 100 U.S. companies from 16 different sectors, ranging from different kinds of industrial machinery and equipment to food processing, infrastructures and environmental equipment. The objective of the Mission is to bring together U.S. and Spanish companies and institutions to share best practices and investigate new business endeavors.

The mission will kick off in Valencia where participants will have the opportunity to watch the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals regatta as part of the 32nd America’s Cup. The next day, ICEX will host an inaugural ceremony at the City of the Arts and Sciences Auditorium. The remainder of the trip will be custom-designed to pair Spanish and U.S. companies with shared interests for business discussions.


Auditorium of the City of the Arts and Sciences (Valencia), by Santiago Calatrava

Participating U.S. companies and organizations include Energy Alloys, BAE Industries, Massachussetts Technology Collaborative, Inbac (International Business Acceleration Center, from Silicon Valley), Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Illinois House of Representatives, among others. Spanish participants include Talgo (train manufacturer), Tecnalia Technology Corporation, the Spanish Network of Research and Technology Centers or Indra (Avionics and traffic control systems).

The new kid on the block

March 22, 2007

In posts in the last few weeks I have been following the tracks of Spanish investors in the field of renewable energies in the US, such as Gamesa, Acciona Energy, Iberdrola and Naturener. Now it is the turn for an additional entrant stepping up to the plate.  

Elecnor, a diversified holding with a $ 1,030 million revenue in 2005 is coming to Chicago in April to participate in a Spain-US Investment event, with the view to expanding its activities in turnkey projects in the US and, specifically, in the Midwest

We expect to have more news to report about this significant move, given that the Elecnor Group is one of Spain’s leading companies in the field of project planning and development in the areas of renewable energy, electricity and infrastructures. It currently has a presence in over 20 countries and 11 subsidiaries ranging from aerospace to wind power (Enerfin) to production of Solar modules (Atersa).


View from a wind turbine of the largest (150 MW) wind park in Latin America (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)

Project developed by Enerfin-Enervento (Elecnor Group)  Picture by Bernardo Fiusa

To give an idea of the size of some of the projects it is currently involved in:

– Through Atersa, Elecnor´s own subsidiary for pv solar energy, it is currently building not one, but two 20 MW pv solar plants in Spain, one in Extremadura (close to Portugal) and another one in Murcia (Mediterranean Coast).  Just to remind you, the largest operational pv solar plants worldwide hover around 10 MW.

Its partners for these projects are Suntech (China), that will provide solar panels for the plant in Extremadura, and Powerlight (USA) to provide its Powertracker systems for both plants to maximize the panels´ energy generation.

– It has created a joint venture called Cape Trafalgar Marine Wind Consortium with the Spanish utility Endesa  to develop offshore wind power projects using technology that leverages know-how gained in oil rigs. Its subsidiary for wind energy (Enerfin) already participates in operative wind farms with total capacity of over 650 MW

Elecnor seeks a long-term presence in the US, offering its expertise in the design and construction of wind power plants. It already has opened a subsdiary in Texas and is looking for partnerships with other engineering or contracting firms.

It will take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Spain-US Investment Forum, an event that will bring 21 Spanish companies looking for investment and business development opportunities in Illinois and surrounding states. 

(For the record: The TC of Spain in Chicago and, specifically, your humble English-impaired correspondent are among the organizers)

Spain: Favorite place to live and work for Europeans

February 19, 2007

An FT/Harris opinion poll published on Monday lists Spain as the most popular destination for Europeans thinking of working abroad.

The poll also portrays Spain as a country at ease with itself: its citizens are relaxed about immigration and are the most optimistic citizens of any major European country that their lives are getting better.

The survey found that while the UK is second only to Spain as a preferred work destination, British citizens have become more hostile than anyone else in western Europe to immigration from the EU. Almost half – 47 per cent – of Britons said immigration was having a “negative impact” on their economy.

Perhaps the most striking finding is the extent to which Spain has emerged as an inwardly confident and outwardly attractive country, 21 years after joining the EU as one of its poorest member states.

It found 17 per cent of those polled put Spain as the country in which they would most like to work, ahead of Britain on 15 per cent and France on 11 per cent. French and Italian citizens were the most likely to want to emigrate there. Spain had the lowest number of people who considered life was getting worse (50 per cent) and its citizens were by far the most positive about the economic benefits of immigration.

A total of 42 per cent of Spaniards believed immigration was good for the economy, compared with 19 per cent in Britain and France.

Last Friday, the EU monetary affairs commissioner upgraded his growth forecasts for Spain in 2007 from 3.4 per cent to 3.7 per cent, making it one of the bloc’s most dynamic economies.

Original article at MSNBC – Financial Times: Spain tops destination list for EU migrants

This article connects with another recent one from El País that underscores how fast and deeply Spain has turned into a multi-cultural society. Nowadays, 8.5% of the population is foreign-born and 11.51% of newborns in 2005 came from bi-national families (a Spaniard and a foreigner).  Even though the integration of immigrants always presents problems everywhere – and Spain is not an exception – such a high rate of intermarriage linked to the widespread perception of immigration as good are surely positive signs of the inclusiveness of the country.