Concentrating Solar Power Plant in Spain and Powerful Solar Power Plant in Portugal Combat Climate Change


The first commercial scale concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Europe was inaugurated in the Southern Spanish city of Seville in March 2007.

Serpa Solar Power Plant Phorto: Wikipedia


The first commercial scale concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Europe was inaugurated in the Southern Spanish city of Seville in March 2007.  The 11 MW plant has been designed to produce 23 GWh of electricity a year, enough to supply a population of 10,000. This production of solar electricity avoids the emission of about 16,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The CPS project called PS10 produces electricity via 624 movable mirrors (heliostats) of 120 m2 surface each that concentrates solar radiation to the top of a 115-m- high tower where the solar receiver and the steam turbine are located.


The PS10 solar plant is situated 25 km west of the city of Seville and is promoted by the company Abengoa. The investment costs amounted to €35 million, with a contribution of €5 million from the European Union's Fifth Framework Programme for research awarded for its highly innovative approach.


The project execution took 54 months, from 1 July 2001 to 31 December 2005.


PS10 is the first of a set of solar electric power generation plants to be constructed in the same area which will produce a total of more than 300 MW by 2013.


See below for more information on Concentrating Solar Power.


Solar Farm in Portugal


The solar farm of Serpa in southern Portugal, inaugurated in March 2007, has a capacity of 11 MW and is expected to produce, with its 52,000 photovoltaic modules, 20 gigawatt/hours of power per year, enough to supply 8,000 homes. The Solar farm, which covers about 60 hectares of pastures for sheep, saves 30,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, according to its promoters.


According to the European Commission press report of October 2, 2007, it is considered to be the world's most powerful solar power plant.


 "This plant is a good example of the benefits that renewable sources of energy can bring: it creates jobs, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and it reduces our foreign energy dependency", said Commissioner Piebalgs after visiting the plant on October 2,2007.


For more information see the fact sheet:



Alternative Energies Photo:Wikipedia


European Commission’s Binding Target for Renewable Sources of Energy


In December 2007, the European Commission will table a framework directive with measures to reach the binding target for Renewable Sources of Energy as agreed by the European Council last March: 20% of Energy Consumption.


For first time, the directive will take into consideration heating and cooling from renewable sources of energy, together with the two traditional sectors, sustainable biofuels and green electricity.


Photovoltaic is one of the technologies that could be used for the production of green electricity.


"These new technologies give Europe a new option to combat climate change and increase energy security while strengthening the competitiveness of the European industrial sector and creating jobs and growth", said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, on the occasion of the inauguration of the plant.


Facts on Concentrating Solar Power


PS10 is an example of so-called Concentrating Solar Power plants which use solar radiation as a high-temperature energy source to produce electricity via concentrating heliostats in a thermodynamic cycle. The need for Concentrating Solar Power technology arises because solar radiation reaches the Earth’s surface with a density that is adequate for heating systems but not for an efficient thermodynamic cycle for electricity production.


The potential contribution of Concentrating Solar Power plants to a more sustainable energy system has still to be fully exploited. The EU has been supporting the Concentrating Solar Power (CPS) sector for more than ten years facilitating efforts to research, develop, validate, demonstrate and disseminate the performance of these technologies in both the public and private sector.


Under the Fifth and Sixth Framework Programmes for Research, the EU has contributed with some €25 million to research projects working to develop CSP technologies.

This contribution has had a multiplying effect by leveraging a large amount of additional private investment worth several hundred million Euro, in a ratio of about €10 for each Euro invested by the European research programme.


Research, technological development and demonstration of a new generation of renewable energy technologies has an essential role to play in meeting growing energy demand and allowing Concentrating Solar Power technologies to become another EU success story.


For more information:


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