Spain has the sunshine and now appears to have the will to use its potential to generate clean energy.
Rising out of the Andalusian countryside like a gigantic obelisk, a huge concrete solar tower is surrounded by fields of more than 1,000 mirrors that are carefully positioned to reflect sunlight in order to superheat water in the tower.
This is known as concentrated solar power technology and is seen as a cheaper and more efficient way to harness the sun’s energy, but it will only work in areas with strong sunshine and clear skies. And just 20 kilometres from the city of Seville, the countryside in southern Spain is an ideal location.
When the plant opens in January it will generate enough electricity to power 11,000 Spanish homes. It will be the biggest world’s biggest concentrated solar power plant, and brings a beam of optimism for what it may mean for the quest of alternative energies and the use of tower technology to make the most of solar energy.
Spain’s plans are on track with EU plans to source 20 per cent of primary energy from renewables by 2020 and this plant opening could be just the start of a booming industry in concentrated solar power for Spain. It is a perfect example of the kinds of new technologies and industries our own government could be investing in to create jobs and green our economy.