Protermosolar: Spanish CSP plants set new record

Protermosolar (Spain) reports that Spain’s concentrating solar power (CSP) plants produced enough electricity to meet 3.23% of the nation’s demand on July 15th, 2012, a new record for the technology.

Four days prior on July 11th, 2012, these 35 CSP plants met 4.1% of Spanish demand over a period of 17 hours. The organization notes Spain’s leadership in CSP, but warns that retroactive measures being considered by the Spanish government could damage the industry.
“Spain is a leader not only in solar production, but also in the technology worldwide,” states Protermosolar. “The CSP industry could provide a significant benefit to the nation in foreign income, given the billion-dollar market that is emerging, if the development of companies is not restricted by retroactive measures announced in the energy reform.”
Protermosolar notes that CSP received only 2% of the premiums collected under the nation’s feed-in tariff, which was suspended in January 2012. The organization states that CSP has had a negligible effect on the tariff deficit to date.

The CSP sector could be one of the most profitable for Spanish companies, provided that new regulations under consideration by the Spanish government do not create barriers, Protermosolar adds.

Spain’s 35 concentrating solar power (CSP) plants reached two new milestones last month, according to Spanish CSP industry association Protermosolar.


Spanish electricity generation from CSP on July 15th, 2012
Spanish electricity generation from CSP on July 15th, 2012

Protermosolar is the Spanish Association for CSP Industry, founded in 2004 to promote the development of this sector in Spain. With around 100 members, companies involved are related with CSP in the whole value chain. Protermosolar is also founder and vice-president of ESTELA, the European CSP Association.

Protermosolar aims to promote the expansion and development of CSP technology, both in Spain and around the world by:

• Promoting the development of CSP plants in a stable regulatory framework to meet the deployment at large scale.

• Promoting the technology development and the partnership between authorities, research centers, universities and companies.

• Promoting the excellence in planning, design, construction and operation of CSP plants.

• Disseminate knowledge about this technology, as well as its great potential and economic advantages for the whole society and contribute the fight against climate change.

Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP) is a technology to concentrate the sunlight to get heat and to turn this heat into electricity.

Sunlight (direct normal irradiation) is concentrated into a point or a line (a receiver or heat collector) generating heat. This heat is then used to boil water and produce steam which drives a turbine which in turn drives a generator.

CSP plants with thermal storage can operate during the evening when the sun has gone thanks to the heat stored (generally in a tank with molten salts).

CSP plants can operate in “hybrid” mode with other fuels as biomass, biogas, natural gas or coal.