Youtube text: A unique thermosolar power station in southern Spain can shrug off cloudy days: energy stored when the sun shines lets it produce electricity even during the night. The Gemasolar station, up and running since last May, stands out in the plains of Andalusia.
Tower 140 m high, power 19.9 MW, uses molten salt as heat transfer and storage medium. 2650 heliostats, each 120 m2. Gemasolar is the first commercial solar plant with central tower receiver and molten salt heat storage technology. Due to its storage system it allows to produce electricity for 15 hours without sunlight (at night or on cloudy days).
“Spain is probably set to have Europe’s first utility- scale solar parks without subsidies“, according to Jenny Chase, the Zurich-based head of solar energy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Main reason: Solar-cell prices came down 67% during the past two years, not in the least due to Chinese overproduction. Spain has been winding down subsidies on solar. Currently there are application for plants with 150 megawatts to 500 megawatts in capacity and all would be larger than any in Europe. Developers: local companies Solaria and Gestamp Renewables, as well as Germany’s Gehrlicher Solar AG, S.A.G. Solarstrom AG and Wuerth Solar GmbH & Co. Installed solar capacity to date: Germany 30 GW, Italy 15 GW, Spain 5 GW and the US 4 GW.
Compare this graph with a post from May this year to see that Germany is making progress with breakneck-speed. And clearly, if a country can cover 50% of its electricity needs from solar during peak hours, it also can cover 100%, provided sufficient storage facilities are available. The big difference between Germany and the US probably largely has to do with cost.
Here is an article with a lot of solar data, like cost.
The Financial Times yesterday published an article “Euro crisis fuels Spanish separatism” and is discussed in the economicpolicyjournal, nationalreview and many other places. As a general rule, political entities are likely to face major upheavels and/or disintegration or other restructuring, once the ruling center has screwed up. Think of the Czar in Russia after the lost war against Germany in 1917, likewise the Ottoman empire, the abdication of the German emperor, the disintegration of Yugoslavia after the communist ideology evaporated, the breakaway of several Arab countries, like Egypt, from Pax Americana (Arab Spring), etc., etc.