Spain reigns Europe’s plains for concentrated solar power

Spain clearly reigns in Europe when it comes to concentrated solar power as new figures show more than 99% of the continent’s projects are situated in the sunny nation. Concentrating […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Spain clearly reigns in Europe when it comes to concentrated solar power as new figures show more than 99% of the continent’s projects are situated in the sunny nation.

Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants use mirrors or lenses to reflect the sun’s rays onto a single point where it is used to heat up a liquid, produce steam and turn turbines to generate electricity.

By the end of 2011, there were 1,960 megawatts of electricity from commercial solar plants installed in the EU, with 99% of these in Spain. Spanish electricity production from CSP hit 3,432 GWh in 2012, more than doubling the previous year’s figure according to EurObserve’ER, a research group backed by the European Commission.

However despite Spain’s dominance thee new ‘Barometer‘ report suggests a recent moratorium on renewable energy power plants brought in by the Spanish government has dented the sector.

The report suggests Spain is likely to “lose the lead” in CSP it has enjoyed over the rest of the world to the United States which is making a “strong comeback” with 1,239MW worth of power being built at the moment.

It goes on to claim the European concentrated solar power plant sector is “steeling itself for tough times ahead” after a “bumper” twelve months. The report states: “The number of projects under construction is a pittance compared with 2012 [which] was an excellent year for installations (an extra 802.5MW of capacity [was] recorded.)”