Spain – A Solar Thermal Powerhouse

Spain has become the world’s largest producer of solar thermal energy after the connection of the La Florida solar farm in Alvarado; and also now boasts the world’s biggest solar power plant.
The 50 MW La Florida solar farm uses  parabolic trough technology and a thermal storage system using molten salt "batteries" – meaning the solar farm can now provide baseload power. The facility covers a massive 550,000 m2, consisting of consists of 11 plants in operation and 20 at an advanced stage of construction.
According to Protermosolar, the association that represents the Spanish solar energy sector, Spain already has 432 MW of installed solar thermal power, compared to 422 MW in the U.S. Protermosolar says taking into account those projects under construction, Spain may add additional capacity of around 600MW in under a year and by 2013, 2500MW.
Investment in solar thermal power plants in Spain currently comes to around EUR 2.5 billion and will reach EUR 15 billion by 2013. By that year, a total of 60 solar thermal power plants are expected to be operating in Spain.
According to Wikipedia,  the Spanish government is committed achieving 12 percent of its primary energy coming from renewable sources by the end of this year, with an installed solar generating capacity of 3000 megawatts; including all solar technologies. Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer in the world of solar power technology and exports 80 percent of its production to Germany.
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