Solar power in Spain

Solar power in Spain

Overview
Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 is one of the most advanced countries in the development of solar energy, since it is one of the countries of Europe with more hours of sunshine. The Spanish government committed to achieving a target of 12 percent of primary energy from renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 by 2010 with an installed solar generating capacity of 3000 megawatts (MW). Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer in the world of solar power
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

 technology and exports 80 percent of this output to Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Solar power in Spain'
Start a new discussion about 'Solar power in Spain'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 is one of the most advanced countries in the development of solar energy, since it is one of the countries of Europe with more hours of sunshine. The Spanish government committed to achieving a target of 12 percent of primary energy from renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 by 2010 with an installed solar generating capacity of 3000 megawatts (MW). Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer in the world of solar power
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

 technology and exports 80 percent of this output to Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 added a record 2.6 GW of solar power in 2008, increasing capacity to 3.5 GW. Total solar power in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 was 4 GW by the end of 2010 and solar energy produced 6.9 terawatt-hours (TW·h), covering 2.7% of the electricity demand in 2010.

Through a ministerial ruling in March 2004, the Spanish government removed economic barriers to the connection of renewable energy technologies to the electricity grid. The Royal Decree 436/2004 equalized conditions for large-scale solar thermal and photovoltaic plants and guaranteed feed-in tariffs
Feed-in Tariff
A feed-in tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. It achieves this by offering long-term contracts to renewable energy producers, typically based on the cost of generation of each technology...

. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis
2008–2009 Spanish financial crisis
The 2008–2011 Spanish financial crisis is part of the world Late-2000s financial crisis. In Spain, the crisis was generated by long term loans , the building market crash which included the bankruptcy of major companies, and a particularly severe increase in unemployment, which rose to 21.4% in...

, the Spanish government drastically cut its subsidies for solar power and capped future increases in capacity at 500 MW per year, with effects upon the industry worldwide.

Solar thermal power plants


In March 2007, Europe's first commercial concentrating solar power tower
Solar power tower
The solar power tower is a type of solar furnace using a tower to receive the focused sunlight. It uses an array of flat, movable mirrors to focus the sun's rays upon a collector tower...

 plant was opened near the sunny Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

n city of Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

. The 11 MW plant, known as the PS10 solar power tower
PS10 solar power tower
The PS10 Solar Power Plant , is Europe's first commercial concentrating solar power tower operating near Seville, in Andalucia, Spain. The 11 megawatt solar power tower produces electricity with 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats...

, produces electricity with 624 large heliostats. Each of these mirrors has a surface measuring 120 square meters (1,290 square feet) that concentrates the Sun's rays to the top of a 115 meter (377 feet) high tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity.

The Andasol 1 solar power station
Andasol 1 solar power station
The Andasol solar power station is Europe's first commercial parabolic trough solar thermal power plant, located near Guadix in Andalusia, Spain. Its name is a combination of Andalusia and Sol .- Description :...

 is Europe’s first parabolic trough
Parabolic trough
A parabolic trough is a type of solar thermal energy collector. It is constructed as a long parabolic mirror with a Dewar tube running its length at the focal point. Sunlight is reflected by the mirror and concentrated on the Dewar tube...

 commercial power plant (50 MWe), located near Guadix
Guadix
Guadix, a city of southern Spain, in the province of Granada; on the left bank of the river Guadix, a sub-tributary of the Guadiana Menor, and on the Madrid-Valdepeñas-Almería railway...

 in the province of Granada, also in Andalusia (the plant is named after the region). The Andasol 1 power plant went online in November 2008, and has a thermal storage system which absorbs part of the heat produced in the solar field during the day. This heat is then stored in a molten salt
Molten salt
Molten salt refers to a salt that is in the liquid phase that is normally a solid at standard temperature and pressure . A salt which is normally liquid at STP is usually called a room temperature ionic liquid, although technically molten salts are a class of ionic liquids.-Uses:Molten salts have...

 mixture and used to generate electricity during the night, or when the sky is overcast.

A 15 MWe solar-only power tower plant, the Solar Tres project, is in the hands of the Spanish company SENER, employing molten salt technologies for receiving and energy storage. Its 16-hour molten salt storage system will be able to deliver power around the clock. The Solar Tres project has received a €5 million grant from the EC’s Fifth Framework Programme.

Solar thermal power plants designed for solar-only generation are well matched to summer noon peak loads in prosperous areas with significant cooling demands, such as Spain. Using thermal energy storage systems, solar thermal operating periods can even be extended to meet base-load needs.

Abengoa Solar began commercial operation of a 20-megawatt  solar power tower plant near Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 in late April, 2009. Called the PS20, the plant uses a field of 1,255 flat mirrors, or heliostat
Heliostat
A heliostat is a device that includes a mirror, usually a plane mirror, which turns so as to keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target, compensating for the sun's apparent motions in the sky. The target may be a physical object, distant from the heliostat, or a direction in space...

s, to concentrate sunlight on a receiver mounted on a central tower. Water pumped up the tower and through the receiver boils into steam, which is then directed through a turbine to produce electricity. The new facility is located adjacent to one with half its capacity, called PS10, which was the world's first commercial solar power tower plant. According to Abengoa Solar, the new facility is exceeding its predicted power output.

Photovoltaics


Solar photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into electricity and many solar photovoltaic power stations have been built in Spain. As of November 2010, the largest photovoltaic (PV) power plants in Spain are the Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park
Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park
The Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park is a large photovoltaic power plant in Olmedilla de Alarcón, Spain. When completed in July 2008, it was the world's largest photovoltaic power plant. The plant uses more than 270,000 solar photovoltaic panels to generate 60 megawatts...

 (60 MW), Puertollano Photovoltaic Park
Puertollano Photovoltaic Park
The Puertollano Photovoltaic Park is the fourth largest photovoltaic power station in the world, with a nominal capacity of 47.6 MW. The facility is located in Puertollano, Spain. 476 individual plants with a nominal power of 100 kWp, Suntech and Solaria modules. . Fixed structure oriented at...

 (47.6 MW), Planta Solar La Magascona & La Magasquila
Planta Solar La Magascona & La Magasquila
The Planta Solar La Magascona and La Magasquila is a photovoltaic power station located at La Magascona, Trujillo in Cáceres, Spain. It covers and it has a peak output of 23.04 MW. The power station produces approximately 46 GWh of electricity per year. It was commissioned in July 2007....

 (34.5 MW), Arnedo Solar Plant
Arnedo Solar Plant
The Arnedo Solar Plant is a solar photovoltaic power plant located in Arnedo, La Rioja, Spain. The power system installations are supplied and the solar plant is operated by T-Solar. The plant was built by Isolux Corsán in 2008. It cost €181 million....

 (34 MW) and Planta Solar Dulcinea (31.8 MW).

BP Solar
BP Solar
BP has been involved in solar power since 1973 and its subsidiary, BP Solar, is a solar power company with production facilities in India and the People's Republic of China, employing a workforce of over 2,000 people worldwide. BP Solar is worldwide manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar...

 begun constructing a new solar photovoltaic cell manufacturing plant at its European headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

.
For phase one of the Madrid expansion, BP Solar aimed to expand its annual cell capacity from 55 MW to around 300 MW. Construction of this facility was underway, with the first manufacturing line expected to be fully operational in 2009. The new cell lines would use innovative screen-printing technology. By fully automating wafer handling, the manufacturing lines would be able to handle the very thinnest of wafers available and ensure the highest quality. Thin wafers are of particular importance since there has been a silicon shortage in recent years.
However, after the new national law limiting installed power by year, in April 2009 BP Solar is closing its factories.

Since the beginning of 2007, Aleo Solar
Aleo Solar
aleo solar AG produces and distributes premium solar modules and systems for the international photovoltaic market. Since 2009, the Bosch Group has owned a majority of aleo solar AG , which was originally founded in 2001 and has been listed on the stock exchange since 2006...

 AG has also been manufacturing high-quality solar modules for the Spanish market at its own factory in Santa Maria de Palautordera near Barcelona.
|+ Spain's largest photovoltaic (PV) power plants
|-
! Name of Plant!! DC
Peak Power (MW) !! GW·h
/year !! Capacity factor !! Notes
|-
| Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park
Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park
The Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park is a large photovoltaic power plant in Olmedilla de Alarcón, Spain. When completed in July 2008, it was the world's largest photovoltaic power plant. The plant uses more than 270,000 solar photovoltaic panels to generate 60 megawatts...

 > | Arnedo Solar Plant
Arnedo Solar Plant
The Arnedo Solar Plant is a solar photovoltaic power plant located in Arnedo, La Rioja, Spain. The power system installations are supplied and the solar plant is operated by T-Solar. The plant was built by Isolux Corsán in 2008. It cost €181 million....

 > | Planta solar Fuente Álamo
Planta solar Fuente Álamo
Planta Solar Fuente Álamo is a photovoltaic power station in Fuente-Álamo, Murcia in Spain. It covers an area of . The power station has a capacity of 26 megawatts and its annual output is 44 GWh, equivalent to supply electricity to 13,000 households.The project was developed and...

 > | Solarpark Calveron > | Huerta Solar Almaraz > | Planta solar fotovoltaico Calasparra >
60 85 0.16 >-
| Puertollano Photovoltaic Park
Puertollano Photovoltaic Park
The Puertollano Photovoltaic Park is the fourth largest photovoltaic power station in the world, with a nominal capacity of 47.6 MW. The facility is located in Puertollano, Spain. 476 individual plants with a nominal power of 100 kWp, Suntech and Solaria modules. . Fixed structure oriented at...

 
47 >- Planta Solar La Magascona & La Magasquila
Planta Solar La Magascona & La Magasquila
The Planta Solar La Magascona and La Magasquila is a photovoltaic power station located at La Magascona, Trujillo in Cáceres, Spain. It covers and it has a peak output of 23.04 MW. The power station produces approximately 46 GWh of electricity per year. It was commissioned in July 2007....

 
34.5
Planta Solar Dulcinea  31.8 Completed 2009
Merida/Don Alvaro Solar Park  30 Completed September 2008
Planta Solar Ose de la Vega  30
30 >-
| Merida/Don Alvaro Solar Park 
30 >- Planta Fotovoltaico Casas de Los Pinos  28
26 44 0.19 >-
| Planta fotovoltaica de Lucainena de las Torres 
23.2 >-
| Parque Fotovoltaico Abertura Solar 
23.1 47 0.23 >-
| Parque Solar Hoya de Los Vicentes 
23 41 0.20 >-
| Huerta Solar Almaraz 
22.1 >- Parque Solar El Coronil 1  21.4
21.2 40 0.22 >- El Bonillo Solar Park  20 Completed October 2008
20 >- Granadilla de Abona Photovoltaic Park  20 Completed 2008
20 >-
| Planta Solar La Magascona 
20 42 0.24 >-
| Beneixama photovoltaic power plant
Beneixama photovoltaic power plant
Beneixama photovoltaic power plant is a 20 MW photovoltaic power plant located in Beneixama, Spain. The plant consists of approximately 100,000 solar panels, encompassing an area of approximately 500,000 m2...

 
20 30 0.17 Solon
Solon SE
Solon SE is a German solar energy company. It is headquartered in Berlin. Solon SE produces photovoltaic modules at its production sites in Greifswald , Steinach in Tirol , Carmignano di Brenta Solon SE is a German solar energy company. It is headquartered in Berlin. Solon SE produces photovoltaic...

 solar modules with Q-Cells
Q-Cells
Q-Cells is a manufacturer of photovoltaic cells, established in 1999. Its core business is the development, production and marketing of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells....

 cells
>-
| Planta de energía solar Mahora 
15 >-
| Planta Solar de Salamanca
Planta Solar de Salamanca
Planta Solar de Salamanca is a 13.8 peak MW photovoltaic power plant located in Salamanca, Spain. The plant consists of approximately 70,000 Kyocera solar panels, occupying approximately 36-hectare site....

 
13.8 n.a. Kyocera
Kyocera
is a multinational manufacturer based in Kyoto, Japan. It was founded as in 1959 by Kazuo Inamori and renamed in 1982. The company has diversified its founding technology in ceramic materials through internal development as well as strategic mergers and acquisitions...

 panels
>-
| Parque Solar Guadarranque 
13.6 20 0.17 >-
| Lobosillo Solar Park
Lobosillo Solar Park
Lobosillo Solar Park is a 12.7 MW-peak photovoltaic power plant located in Lobosillo, Murcia, Spain, making it at the time the third largest photovoltaic power plant in the world.The plant was constructed by Ecostream and uses SolarMax inverters ....

 
12.7 n.a. >-
| Parque Solar Fotovoltaico Villafranca 
12 >-
| Monte Alto photovoltaic power plant
Monte Alto photovoltaic power plant
The Monte Alto photovoltaic power plant in Spain has a generating capacity of 9.55 megawatts peak and will generate 14 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per annum...

 
9.5 14 0.17 >-
| Viana Solar Park 
8.7 11 0.14

Feed in Tariff


The Spanish feed in tariff, made under Real Decreto 661/2007, differs from the German model in that it offers the option of incentives ('prima' or premium (Eng.)) for sales into the wholesale electricity spot market as well as fixed incentives ('tarifa regulada').

New building codes


New building code laws in Spain are now mandating solar hot water
Solar hot water
Solar water heating or solar hot water systems comprise several innovations and many mature renewable energy technologies that have been well established for many years...

 for new and remodeled private residences, and photovoltaics to offset some power requirements for all new and remodeled commercial buildings. The new laws also reflect increased awareness of the importance of better building insulation
Building insulation
building insulation refers broadly to any object in a building used as insulation for any purpose. While the majority of insulation in buildings is for thermal purposes, the term also applies to acoustic insulation, fire insulation, and impact insulation...

 and the use of daylighting
Daylighting
Daylighting is the practice of placing windows or other openings and reflective surfaces so that during the day natural light provides effective internal lighting. Particular attention is given to daylighting while designing a building when the aim is to maximize visual comfort or to reduce energy...

.

Subsidy reductions


In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis
2008–2009 Spanish financial crisis
The 2008–2011 Spanish financial crisis is part of the world Late-2000s financial crisis. In Spain, the crisis was generated by long term loans , the building market crash which included the bankruptcy of major companies, and a particularly severe increase in unemployment, which rose to 21.4% in...

, the Spanish government drastically cut its subsidies for solar power and capped future increases in capacity at 500 MW per year, with effects upon the industry worldwide. "The solar industry in 2009 has been undermined by [a] collapse in demand due to the decision by Spain," according to Henning Wicht, a solar-power analyst.
In 2010, the Spanish government went further, retroactively cutting subsidies for existing solar projects, aiming to save several billion euro it owed.
According to the Photovoltaic Industry Association, several hundred photovoltaic plant operators may face bankruptcy.
Phil Dominy of Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms, along with Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers ....

, comparing the feed-in tariff reductions in Germany
Solar power in Germany
Germany is one of the world's top photovoltaics installers, with a solar PV capacity as of May 2011 of more than 18,000 megawatts .The German solar PV industry installed 7,400 MW from nearly one-quarter million individual systems in 2010, and solar PV provided 12 TWh of electricity in 2010, about...

 and Italy
Solar power in Italy
Italy ranked as the world’s second largest producer of solar power with an installed nameplate capacity of 9.000 MW and 263.594 plants in operation in 18 August 2011....

, said "Spain stands out as an example of how not to do it."
As a result, a Spanish association of solar power producers has announced its intention to go to court over the government’s plans to cap solar subsidies.

Research and development


The Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA), part of the Center for Energy, Environment and Technological Research (CIEMAT), is a center for research, development, and testing of concentrating solar power technologies. ISFOC in Puertollano is a development institute for concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) which evaluates CPV technologies at the pilot production scale to optimize operation and determine cost. Technical University of Madrid
Technical University of Madrid
The Technical University of Madrid or sometimes called Polytechnic University of Madrid is a Spanish University, located in Madrid. It was founded in 1971 as the result of merging different Technical Schools of Engineering and Architecture, originated mainly in the 18th century...

 has a photovoltaic research group.

See also


  • Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
    Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
    The related terms "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" date to 1995 and earlier, in the Second Assesment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change and previous science it cites.In 2002, the United Nations...

  • Deployment of solar power to energy grids
    Deployment of solar power to energy grids
    The development of solar power by country depends on national economic incentives more than insolation. Many industrialized nations are installing significant solar power capacity in their grids as a supplement or alternative to other power sources. Long distance transmission allows remote...

  • List of renewable energy topics by country
  • Plataforma Solar de Almería
    Plataforma Solar de Almería
    The Plataforma Solar de Almería is a center for the exploration of the solar energy, situated in the Province of Almería.-History:It was founded in the early 1980s and run by the centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas , its location is on the edge of the Tabernas...

  • Renewable energy in Spain
    Renewable energy in Spain
    Renewable energy in Spain represented 12.5% of total energy generation in 2009. Spain has set the target of generating 20% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2020....

  • Solar power in the European Union
    Solar power in the European Union
    Solar power in the European UnionSolar power consists of photovoltaic and solar thermal power.During 2010, the European solar heating yield was 17.3 TWh, annual turnover 2.6 Billion € and employment 33,500 persons...


External links