Monday, December 31, 2007

A Solar Grand Plan

31 December, 2007

cientific American

High prices for gasoline and home heating oil are here to stay. The U.S. is at war in the Middle East at least in part to protect its foreign oil interests. And as China, India and other nations rapidly increase their demand for fossil fuels, future fighting over energy looms large. In the meantime, power plants that burn coal, oil and natural gas, as well as vehicles everywhere, continue to pour millions of tons of pollutants and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually, threatening the planet.

Well-meaning scientists, engineers, economists and politicians have proposed various steps that could slightly reduce fossil-fuel use and emissions. These steps are not enough. The U.S. needs a bold plan to free itself from fossil fuels. Our analysis convinces us that a massive switch to solar power is the logical answer. More >>>

See article below for new developments in photovoltaic production technology. Editor

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nanosolar’s Breakthrough - Solar Now Cheaper than Coal

November 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

100-watt bulb set to be dimmed permanently

Congress this week passed legislation designed to boost energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The measure raises fuel-efficiency for passenger vehicles to 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020, up from 25 miles mpg now (the first such increase since 1975) and phases out 100-watt incandescent light bulbs by 2012. It also mandates that companies manufacture more energy efficient appliances, slap labels on TVs and computers specifying their energy consumption, and requires gasoline producers to quintuple the amount of ethanol and other biofuels in the fuel supply to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The Los Angeles Times reports that the 822-page bill, which passed after Democrats agreed to strip out a $21 billion tax increase to avoid a presidential veto, is expected to shave the nation's energy consumption by an estimated 7 percent and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 9 percent by 2030. Read More

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reaching our peak oil supply

At some point, we're going to reach our peak oil supply, says ROD DREHER. Will you be ready?
12:00 AM CST on Sunday, November 25, 2007

It cost more than $40 to fill up my Honda Accord last week. That's a pain, but not one I have to suffer often. Not only does the Honda get good gas mileage, I live close to my downtown job, so I put maybe 6,000 miles a year on the car. The price of oil will have to go up a lot more before my wallet feels the burn – at the gas pump, at least.

But the price of oil affects far more than our daily commutes. Our entire consumer economy is built on the idea that oil will be relatively inexpensive and infinitely available. Read More

Peak Oil Web Sites: The Energy Bulletin and The Oil Drum

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Powering up for a hydrogen economy

Sooner or later the world is going to have to make the switch away from fossil fuels, says Keith Guy. In this week's Green Room, he explains what needs to be done to make the vision of a global hydrogen economy a reality.
n increasing global population, rising standards of living and more industrial production mean the amount of energy the world consumes could rise by 50-60% over the next 25 years.

Today, the biggest forms of energy are fossil fuels - oil, gas, coal. Read More

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wolves and bears circle energy security

Energy security cuts both ways, we are told. It is not only the gas-guzzling American motorist who needs comforting, but also the bloated petrocrats of the Gulf. At the Opec summit meeting in Riyadh this weekend, the talk will not be of supply insecurity, but of demand collapse. Even as truckers threaten mass meetings in Britain to protest about the price of diesel, the risk is seen on the downside from the perspective of the producers. Algerians attending the Rome World Energy Congress this week were less than impressed by the screeching about $100-a-barrel oil and shortages.

“What do you think the American economy will be doing next year?” was the comment of Chakib Khelil, the Algerian Oil Minister. “If there is a recession, then we won’t have a supply problem.” No need to pump more crude, then. Read More

Baker Institute Study Shows Big Five Oil Companies Limit Exploration

Houston TX (SPX) Nov 14, 2007
A study released today by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy finds that the "Big Five" international oil companies (IOCs) are spending less money on oil exploration in real terms despite a four-fold increase in operating cash flow since the early 1990s. On the flip side, the study, "The International Oil Companies," finds that second-tier oil companies are spending more in exploration, positioning themselves to be in better shape when it comes to future oil reserves.

The analysis is based on Baker Institute research on investment expenditures by the IOCs, the next 20 largest U.S.-based oil firms and national oil companies (NOCs). Data were culled from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings going back to 1995 and, in the case of NOCs, to news reports and other public data.

The study found that the Big Five (ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips), used 56 percent of their increasing cash flow on share repurchases and dividends, which were good for investors in the short term but put at risk the companies long-term oil reserves.

"The handwriting is on the wall. The oil majors are not replacing reserves," said Amy Myers Jaffe, co-author of the report and the Wallace S. Wilson fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute. "It's as if they are slowly liquidating their long-term asset base. They may see a declining rate of production over time and eventually that is bad news for both their shareholders and consumers." Read More

Sunday, November 11, 2007

India: Deora moots agenda for energy security

Wants enlarged cooperation with African nations

Envisages hydrocarbon cooperation agreements

Investment opportunities for public, private cos.

NEW DELHI: Upbeat about the positive outcome of the India-Africa hydrocarbon conference held earlier this week, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Murli Deora, has mooted an eight-point agenda for India envisaging enlarged cooperation, including major investments and acquisitions in the oil and gas sector with the African nations in its aim to seek energy security for the country. Read More

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Energy poses major 21st century crisis: scientists

Paris (AFP) Oct 22, 2007

Energy poses one of the greatest threats facing humanity this century, the world's leading academies of science warned Monday, highlighting the peril of oil wars and climate change driven by addiction to fossil fuels.

Nations must provide power for the 1.6 billion people who live without electricity and wean themselves off energy sources that stoke global warming and geopolitical conflict, the scientists demanded.

"Making the transition to a sustainable energy future is one of the central challenges humankind faces in this century," they said.

Their report, "Lighting the Way: Toward A Sustainable Energy Future," is published by the InterAcademy Council, whose 15 members include the national science academies of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Brazil, China and India. Read More

Monday, October 22, 2007

Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study

· Output peaked in 2006 and will fall 7% a year
· Decline in gas, coal and uranium also predicted

Monday October 22, 2007

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.

The German-based Energy Watch Group will release its study in London today saying that global oil production peaked in 2006 - much earlier than most experts had expected. The report, which predicts that production will now fall by 7% a year, comes after oil prices set new records almost every day last week, on Friday hitting more than $90 (£44) a barrel.
Read More

Monday, October 15, 2007

Report links energy crisis to security

October 11, 2007 -

An energy crisis could pose security risks for Australia by pushing fragile states in the region towards collapse, a report has warned.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said in the report that such a threat should be factored into foreign and defence policy.
It said the increasing dependence of the world on energy from unstable regions like the Middle East meant obtaining an adequate supply of affordable energy would become a bigger part of most nations' security plans.
"Australia's self-sufficiency in oil products is declining markedly, and like most other Asia-Pacific states, Australia will become increasingly dependent on imports from the Middle East in the next decades," the document said.
The institute said that Australia's smaller neighbours would be most vulnerable if energy supplies were threatened.
"Most of the fragile states in the Asia Pacific are completely dependant on energy imports, and would have little economic resilience in the face of such a major shock. Read More

Friday, September 21, 2007

America and Iran: the spark of war

Sparks of War

Paul Rogers

20 - 09 - 2007

Four fresh developments - involving Israel, France, and Washington and Tehran themselves - are bringing closer a war that could happen by accident.

The two most recent columns in this series have focused on the increasing tensions between the United States and Iran, evident in the belligerent statements coming out of Tehran and the even more sustained, hostile rhetoric emanating from the George W Bush administration and the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party (see "Baghdad spin, Tehran war" [6 September 2007] and "Iran: war and surprise" [13 September 2007]). Read More

What would a attack on Iran do to the price of oil? What is the Bush administration thinking? Read Paul Rogers analysis. Paul is Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Ed.

Two barrels of oil are used for each one found. $100 oil anyone?

September 21, 2007

ROME -- For the peak-oil crowd, that merry band of doomsters who believe global oil production is about to go into irreversible decline and plunge us into a new Stone Age, the timing couldn't have been better. As the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas was holding its conference in Cork, Ireland, earlier this week, oil prices conveniently set record prices. By midweek, they had gone as high as $82 (U.S.) a barrel.

The conference speakers were no doubt thrilled. If oil prices had been falling, their message would have been laughed out of court. As it were, Ronald Oxburgh, the British lord and geologist who is the former head of Shell U.K., one of the world's biggest oil companies, looked like something of a prophet. He said oil prices could hit $150 as supplies fail to keep pace with soaring demand. Another speaker, CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin, predicted prices of "around $100 a barrel by the end of next year." Talisman Energy chief executive officer Jim Buckee talked about rapidly declining production from once-prolific and seemingly stalwart oil fields. Read More

Renewable Energy conference: peak oil and climate change

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ian Dunlop, Deputy Convenor of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil in Australia, delivered the final keynote address at the Renewable Energy and Regional Australia conference.

Mr Dunlop is a past chairman of the Australian Coal Association, and was the chair of the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading between 1998 and 2000. He is currently a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Energy Institute (UK), and a Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME (USA).

"What we're currently doing is completely unsustainable, in a global context," he says. Read More

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oil Price Tops $82 A Barrel. Do I Hear $85? $90?

Three Record-Setting Days Has One Analyst Thinking Big, And Others Thinking About Peak Oil

Thursday’s oil topped $82 a barrel, capping — perhaps — three straight days of record high prices, according to numerous reports in the press. At least one big name analyst foresees prices rising to at least $85 and perhaps $90 by the end of the year.

Light sweet crude for delivery rose 31 cents to $82.24 a barrel, in New York’s main futures contract, according to AFP.

Even before the price topped out today, Goldman Sachs had forecast $85 a gallon barrels by year’s end, with “significant risks of a spike above $90″ according to numerous reports.

Why? High demand and tight supply.

All this talk about a gap between demand and supply gets people talking about Peak Oil — the idea that the world has pumped about as much oil as it can — cheaply anyway — and we’re looking sooner rather than later at an era when demand consistently outpaces supply. OPEC, when it met earlier this month, agreed to increase oil supply by a “token” amount, to use the word used by the Associated Press. Read More

Curbing consumption: the price of oil and gas supply gaps

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

(NOTE: This is the second of a series of releases on the debate on and implications of Peak Oil which will be the main subject of the upcoming ASPO-USA World Oil Conference, Oct. 17-20, in Houston. For conference information and program details:

HOUSTON, TX - As long as energy prices remain affordable for the general public, who needs to be concerned about depleting oil and natural gas reserves? That's a dangerous attitude to have in today's energy environment, suggests the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO)-USA.

ASPO's 3rd Annual World Oil Conference is at the Hilton Americas in Houston Oct. 17-20 and Honorary Co-Chairman and energy industry veteran Henry Groppe of Groppe, Long & Littell says the prospect of implementing price rationing to allocate constrained supplies isn't well understood. Read More

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

State officials seek 'zero net energy' standards for new homes by 2020

Sacramento Business Journal - 2:26 PM PDT Monday, September 17, 200

A state public utilities commissioner and administrative law judge issued a proposal for energy-efficiency measures Monday, including "zero net energy" standards for new residential construction projects beginning in 2020 and commercial construction beginning in 2030.

Zero energy means buildings use no more energy over the course of a year than they produce through solar power or other energy production technologies.

The proposal, to be discussed by the state Public Utilities Commission on Oct. 18, would also direct utilities to prepare a single, statewide, long-term energy-efficiency plan.

The proposal also seeks to reshape the heating, air conditioning and ventiliation industries by requiring an undefined minimum number of high-efficiency air conditioning systems to be installed or retrofitted on residential and small commercial buildings.

"Basically, the full spectrum of air conditioning equipment sales, installation, and service business practices must change...," commissioner Dian Grueneich and administrative law judge Kim Malcolm wrote in the proposed decision. Read More

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oil industry 'sleepwalking into crisis'

Former Shell chairman says that diminishing resources could push price of crude to $150 a barrel. 16 September 2007

Lord Oxburgh, the former chairman of Shell, has issued a stark warning that the price of oil could hit $150 per barrel, with oil production peaking within the next 20 years.

He accused the industry of having its head "in the sand" about the depletion of supplies, and warned: "We may be sleepwalking into a problem which is actually going to be very serious and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware."

In an interview with The Independent on Sunday ahead of his address to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil in Ireland this week, Lord Oxburgh, one of the most respected names in the energy industry, said a rapid increase in the price of oil was inevitable as demand continued to outstrip supply. He said: "We can probably go on extracting oil from the ground for a very long time, but it is going to get very expensive indeed. Read More

Friday, September 14, 2007

The End of Oil?

A small - but growing - group of experts think world oil production will peak in the next few years, to devastating effect. September 14 2007

NEW YORK -- At some point in the near future, worldwide oil production will peak, then decline rapidly, causing depression-like conditions or even the starvation of billions across the globe.
That's the worst-case scenario for subscribers to the "peak oil" theory, who generally believe oil production has either topped out or will do so in the next couple of years.
A small but growing group of experts think oil production will peak in the next few years, then decline rapidly. The result could be worse than the Great Depression.

What follows depends on who one talks to, but predictions run the gamut from the disaster scenario described above to merely oil prices in the $200-a-barrel range while society transitions to other energy sources.

It's not a view held by most industry experts, including the oil companies, the government and most analysts at the financial houses.
But its adherents are growing, and include some fairly well-known names.
In the coming week, a former chairman of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (Charts) is speaking at a peak oil conference in Ireland, as is former U.S. Energy Secretary James Schlesinger.
Most peak-oil proponents simply don't believe the numbers put forward by industry and the government.

The world will produce 118 million barrels of oil a day, up from its current 85 million barrels per day, just to satisfy projected demand by 2030, according to the Energy Information Agency.
"That's never going to happen," said Richard Heinberg, a research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and author of three books on peak oil.
Heinberg says world production of regular crude oil actually peaked in May 2005. He also says production in 33 of the 48 largest oil producing countries is in decline, and that global oil discoveries peaked in 1964. Read More

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Energy from salt water

Amazing invention to convert salt water into its component gases using radio frequency energy, enabling the hydrogen to be burnt for energy. As long as it creates more energy than it consumes we may all achieve energy security at low cost!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lovelock: "Respect the Earth"

06 September 2007

Nuclear energy would be vital in a future where the Earth's feedback mechanisms are having to deal with the results of climate change, James Lovelock, environmentalist and originator of the Gaia theory, told delegates to the World Nuclear Association (WNA) 32nd Annual Symposium in London.

James Lovelock at the WNA Annual Symposium
Climate change is more serious than we can possibly imagine, but neither the Earth nor the human race is doomed, said Lovelock. The good news is that the Earth itself is in no danger, with world climate likely to stabilize some 5 degrees C warmer than current temperatures - such stable 'hot' states have existed in the past, including some 55 million years ago when the world's own feedback mechanisms took 200,000 years to recover. During that phase no great extinction occurred, but life moved to cooler climes to survive.

Climate-induced migrations could, for example, see Europe's population concentrated in cooler regions such as the British Isles, Scandinavia and western France - and this could happen within the next century. "If ever nuclear power is needed, it will be then," said Lovelock. Nuclear is the most reliable and demonstrably safest form of energy in existence, Lovelock later told journalists.
Read More

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Climate Change & Peak Oil: An Integrated Policy Response for Australia

Ian Dunlop: Climate Change & Peak Oil PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 April 2007

An integrated policy response

 Ian Dunlop has outlined the need for an integrated policy response for Australia to the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change. Full report as submitted to the Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading.

Climate change and peak oil are inextricably linked. Each one is a major issue in its own right, but their convergence has received minimal attention, which is unfortunate as it is likely to have far greater impact than the sum of the individual parts. Policy must ensure that solutions to the one reinforce, and do not conflict with, solutions to the other.
Current piecemeal government policy is totally inadequate to meet the challenges of climate change. Emissions trading is now, reluctantly, under discussion but it is only one component of the comprehensive policy required. Peak oil is barely on the agenda, although it may be the issue which has the greatest impact in the short-term. This paper suggests a comprehensive, integrated policy, at both global and national levels, which will provide a coherent response to both issues.

Above all, visionary, principled, long-term leadership is need from government, the community and business. Short-term political or corporate expediency is no longer acceptable; bi-partisan cooperation is essential. Action is required in the next 6-12 months, not in the 3-5 years favoured in political debate.

Ian Dunlop is a senior member of ASPO-Sydney. He is an engineer and was formerly a senior international oil, gas and coal industry executive. He chaired the Australian Coal Association in 1987-88, chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading from 1998-2000 and was CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 1997-2001. He has a particular interest in the interaction of corporate governance, corporate responsibility and sustainability. Read More

Friday, August 24, 2007

Petrocaribe Summit Promotes Energy Security

By Odeen Ishmael

CARACAS, Venezuela, Fri. August 24, 2007: The third PetroCaribe summit, held in Caracas on August, 11, assessed the achievements in the Caribbean region’s energy integration over the past two years.

The attending Presidents and Prime Ministers and other heads of delegations agreed that progress has been made in the field of energy, and initiatives of a social character have benefited some of the poorest sectors in some of the countries. Attending the forum for the first time were the Presidents of Haiti and Nicaragua who formalized their nations’ membership of the 16-nation Caribbean Basin group initiated by Venezuela in 2005.

In addition, the summit, chaired by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, implemented new measures to guarantee regional energy sovereignty through the signing of an Energy Security Treaty which promises energy security through reliable and timely supply from Venezuela and the increase in the fuel storage capacity. Read More

Friday, August 3, 2007

Developing World Seeks Funds And Technology To Tackle Climate ChangeEnergy Security

This week's debate is laying the groundwork for a high-level meeting called by UN chief Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the September General Assembly meeting, and for a major climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December.
by Gerard Aziakou
United Nations (AFP) Aug 01, 2007
Rich nations were challenged Wednesday to make deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions and to provide the developing world with funding and technology to help it tackle climate change. Developed countries "have a specific responsibility" to carry out deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emission "in accordance with the commitments made under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol," Pakistani Environment Minister Mukhdoom Faisal Hayat told the General Assembly on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Read More

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the parent of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the landmark environmental treaty that mandates cuts in the gases blamed for global warming.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

World cannot afford nuclear climate solution-report

27 Jun 2007 15:58:51 GMT

Source: Reuters
By Jeremy Lovell LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - The world must start building nuclear power plants at the unprecedented rate of four a month from now on if nuclear energy is to play a serious part in fighting global warming, a leading think-tank said on Wednesday. Not only is this impossible for logistical reasons, but it has major implications for world security because of nuclear weapons proliferation, the Oxford Research Group said in its report "Too Hot To Handle - The future of civil nuclear power". The report fired a series of broadsides against the growing momentum for more nuclear-generated electricity to help cut climate-warming carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Read More

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bush: 'Nuclear a key to economic vitality'
22 June 2007

US President George Bush paid a visit to the recently restarted Browns Ferry 1 nuclear power unit on 21 June, making forthright statements on the benefits of nuclear power.

US President George Bush in the Browns Ferry 1 control room. (Image: White House, Chris Greenberg)
Bush visited the machine shop and control room of the 1155 MWe boiling water reactor unit before addressing about 230 workers and local officials.

In a wide-ranging speech on energy, Bush hailed nuclear as a safe, clean, affordable and reliable power source, which "is a key component of economic vitality, because it provides 20% of electricity."

On environmental issues, he said that "if you are interested in cleaning up the air, then you ought to be an advocate for nuclear power... There is no single solution to climate change, but there can be no solution without nuclear power."
Read More

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

San Francisco To Explore Tidal Power Options In Bay

just whack on a couple of sluice gates and catch the running tide...
by Staff Writers
San Francisco CA (SPX) Jun 20, 2007
In support of ongoing efforts to increase California's renewable power supplies and address climate change, Pacific Gas and Electric Company today signed an agreement with the City and County of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Energy Company to conduct the most comprehensive study yet undertaken to assess the possibilities for harnessing the tides in San Francisco Bay to create a new source of zero- emissions, renewable electric power for California energy customers.
Read More

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Pentagon v. peak oil

Published on 14 Jun 2007 by

by Michael T. Klare

Sixteen gallons of oil. That's how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis -- either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.

Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia. That's greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million -- and yet it's a gross underestimate of the Pentagon's wartime consumption.

Such numbers cannot do full justice to the extraordinary gas-guzzling expense of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After all, for every soldier stationed "in theater," there are two more in transit, in training, or otherwise in line for eventual deployment to the war zone -- soldiers who also consume enormous amounts of oil, even if less than their compatriots overseas. Moreover, to sustain an "expeditionary" army located halfway around the world, the Department of Defense must move millions of tons of arms, ammunition, food, fuel, and equipment every year by plane or ship, consuming additional tanker-loads of petroleum. Add this to the tally and the Pentagon's war-related oil budget jumps appreciably, though exactly how much we have no real way of knowing. Read More

Sunday, May 20, 2007

900 Acres of Canadian Solar

A California company is preparing to install a massive solar installation near Sarnia, Ontario (across the river from Port Huron, Michigan) that will be the largest photovoltaic solar installation in North America. Currently, the largest installation in the world is a 12 megawatt facility in Germany. In the United States, a 15 megawatt facility was recently announced to begin construction on an air force base in Nevada. However, the Canadian facility will eclipse both of these, with a capacity of 40 megawatts. It won't necessarily be the world's largest solar farm, however. Large facilities are currently being built in California and Germany.
Read More

Friday, May 18, 2007

First EU Commercial Concentrating Solar Power Tower Opens in Spain

SEVILLE, Spain, March 30, 2007 (ENS) - Europe's first commercial concentrating solar power plant was inaugurated today near the sunny southern Spanish city of Seville.

The 11 megawatt, MW, plant was inaugurated in the presence of the heads of the regional government of Andalusia and executives of the solar company Abengoa, whose parent company, Solucar, built the power plant.

The power plant in the municipality of Sanlucar la Mayor, 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Seville, took more than four years to build, from July 1, 2001 to December 31, 2005.

Known as PS10, the project produces electricity with 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats.

Each of the 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 foot) high tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity.

PS10 is the first of a set of solar electric power generation plants to be constructed in the same area that will total more than 300 MW by 2013. Power generation will be accomplished using a variety of technologies.

The first two power plants to be brought into operation at Sanlucar la Mayor are the PS10, the world's first tower technology solar thermoelectric power plant constructed for commercial operation, and Sevilla PV, the largest low concentration system photovoltaic plant in Europe.

The EU's first commercial concentrating solar power tower near Seville, Spain (Photo courtesy Abengoa)

When completed in the year 2013, the Sanlucar la Mayor Solar Platform will produce enough energy to cover the consumption of some 180,000 homes, equivalent to the needs of the city of Seville, using the concentrating solar power plant and other technologies.

Read More