Posted tagged ‘Renewable energy’

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 He said that if you looked for the common thread between the three, it is an overdependence on outdated, heavily polluting carbon-based technologies.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.”


Gov. Bill Ritter travels to Spain to meet with renewable energy companies

July 7, 2008

As a follow-up to the Spanish trade mission that visited the state last February, Gov. Bill Ritter is in Spain this week to meet with renewable energy companies and encourage investment in Colorado.

Ritter says the trip will be a way to raise the state’s profile in Europe and “let them know Colorado is the best state in America to do business.” Ritter, Energy Office Director Tom Plant and Economic Development Director Don Elliman will be in Madrid from today to July 9.

Gov. Ritter follows what seems to become an established pattern, as Gov. Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania) and Chet Culver (Iowa) have done in the past with their visits. Each of those states has a manufacturing plant from a Spanish company, Gamesa in the case of Pennsylvania, and Acciona in the case of Iowa. As for Colorado, it has its own Spanish company headquartered in the state, Abengoa Solar, that the Gov. hopes might be a beacon for more investment to come. Other foreign renewable companies in Colorado include Denmark-based Vestas Blades and Iberdrola Renewables, also from Spain.

“Iberdrola Renewables has two large wind farms in Colorado, and we would like to invest more in the state,” said Martin Mugica, senior vice president of Iberdrola’s USA renewables division. “The New Energy Economy strategy adds to an already-favorable investment climate. The wind blows in many places around the world, but Coloradans make their state a great place to make electricity from the wind.”

Gov. Ritter will meet with executives from eight to 10 key Spanish companies. He also will appear at four larger events sponsored or hosted by local organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy.

Another point of attraction for companies in this field is the fact that Colorado is home to acclaimed research institutions like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and programs such as the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.

Spanish Renewable Energy trade mission to the USA

January 26, 2008

During a business breakfast organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain last week, the US Ambassador, Eduardo Aguirre, announced a trade mission of Spanish companies in the field of renewable energies, with the objective of attracting investments to the USA.

The Spanish delegation, comprising about a dozen wind and solar companies and top Spanish Government officials is visiting Feb. 12 through 14. They will fly to Washington to meet their American counterparts. Then, they will go on to Colorado, where executives from Iberdola and Abengoa Solar (among others) will visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden and meet American companies and State officials in Denver.

Mr. Aguirre, who mentioned companies such as Iberdrola, Acciona o Gamesa as leaders at the forefront of the clean energy revolution that is sweeping the planet, said that the support of renewable energies will be a ¨strategic priority¨ for the U.S. Mission in Spain.

He brought up the International Conference on Renewable Energy (WIREC 2008) that the American Government is sponsoring next March in Washington as a good opportunity to share ideas for the development of this industry.

He added that the United States attracted last year $10,000 million dollars in investment projects in the field of renewable energy, as a sign of the vitality of this market.

Spanish companies plan to spend $7 billion to $10 billion in the United States on renewable-energy projects over the next few years, has said Paul Bergman, of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Denver.

Abengoa Solar, one of the members of the delegation, already has offices in Lakewood, Colorado (and San Francisco). The company plans to triple its size in the state by hiring more employees next year as it begins to work on utility-scale solar projects in Colorado and nationwide.

Incidentally, the U.S. Department of Energy recently selected three projects proposed by Abengoa Solar (formerly known as Solucar) to increase the efficiency of CSP technologies.

This website from the U.S. Commercial Service includes a fully detailed description of the mission participants.

SolFocus Installs First Solar Array for 3 MW Spanish CPV Project

January 17, 2008

SolFocus, manufacturer of solar energy solutions including concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems and Spain‘s Institute of Concentration Photovoltaics Systems (ISFOC) announced two days ago the installation of the first CPV array in the ISFOC’s 3 MW project in Castilla-LaMancha.




SolFocus CPV Array installed at ISFOC power field in Puertollano, Spain. (Courtesy of SolFocus)



The ISFOC project is sponsored by the government of Castilla-La Mancha. Its program supports participating companies by carrying out important R&D efforts on their installed systems. This includes studies and norms, developments on measurement technology for large systems, reliability testing, maintenance, and analysis of solar radiation and energy produced.

The companies awarded the first 1.7MW phase of CPV pilot plants were Isofoton (Spain – 700kW), SolFocus (US – 500kW), and Concentrix (Germany – 500kW).


800_sol3g.jpgIn November 2007 a 1,3 MW second phase to complete the program was awarded to Sol3g (Spain – 400kW) and Concentración Solar La Mancha (Spain), EMCORE Corp. (US) and Arima Eco (Taiwan) – 300kW each.


HCPV System by Sol3g, another of the companies working in Castilla-La Mancha with ISFOC

According to Dr. Pedro Banda, Director General of the ISFOC, “This is a very important occasion as it brings the industry one step closer towards commercial deployment of CPV technologies. For this unprecedented and ambitious program, the ISFOC has selected CPV technologies that are the most advanced and have the brightest futures.” He added, “SolFocus’ first installation marks the official launch of the power-generation phase of the program.”

SolFocus, with European headquarters in Madrid and United States headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., has over 40kW of test arrays installed at various sites.

The ISFOC was established in 2006 to be a center of reference on the power, reliability and productivity of commercial CPV systems. The innovative approach taken by the ISFOC is becoming a model for similar projects under consideration around the world.



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.

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.