solar thermal electric

Arab League visits Spanish solar thermal electric plants

A score of high-level Arab delegates recently visited the main solar thermal electric plants in Andalusia and Extremadura during a tour sponsored by the Spanish solar thermal electric trade association, Protermosolar.

The delegates’ main aim was to examine the possibility of importing Spanish know-how in solar thermal electric energy into their own countries in order to improve their energy infrastructure and self-sufficiency, create jobs, and export solar thermal electricity generated in their countries to Europe. Currently one of the world leaders in this sector alongside the US, Spain could contribute to the international expansion of solar thermal electric plants, which could include the installation of 20,000 MW in North Africa by 2020.

The high-level technical delegation of the Arab League visited Spanish solar thermal electric plants for the first time to find out first hand about their potential and use them as a reference to draw up their own solar thermal electric plans.

The Mediterranean Solar Plan presents a great opportunity for countries in North Africa and the Middle East, which intend to exploit their solar potential and have therefore shown an interest in Spain’s global technological leadership in the solar thermal electric sector.

20 GW by 2020

The Mediterranean Solar Plan establishes that between now and 2020, Spanish companies could participate in the construction of plants and rolling out of 20,000 MW in the Mediterranean regions of Africa. This project focuses on the industrial and economic development of the region by helping it to achieve energy self-sufficiency, create employment and export electricity to Europe.

Thus, representatives of the Arab League visited the most important solar thermal electric plants in Andalusia and Extremadura in a tour sponsored by Protermosolar in collaboration with the CTAER (Advanced Technology Centre for Renewable Energy in Andalusia) and the Euro-Arab Foundation. The tour was attended by a score of delegates led by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Arab League, Jamila Matar, and accompanied by the Ambassador of the League in Spain, Hassine Bouzid.

Possible joint training initiatives in the field of solar thermal electric technologies were also discussed during the visit, thanks to the involvement of CTAER and a number of foundations for Hispano-Arab cooperation (Euro-Arab Foundation, the Euro-Arab Institute Foundation for Education and Training, etc.). If successful, these initiatives could make Spain a permanent centre for advanced training. In fact, Protermosolar has already shown its willingness to facilitate the hiring of Arab technicians in solar thermal electric plants and research centres in its country.

According to Luis Crespo, Secretary General of Protermosolar, "This is a clear win-win situation. This project is an opportunity for both parties, as it will generate wealth in Africa and improve its industry, while Spain could participate actively in this process by providing its cutting-edge technology.

The delegation visited the Almeria Solar Platform, ACS-Cobra Energía’s Andasol plant, Abengoa’s PS10 and 20 plants, and Acciona's Risca plant.

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