Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Struggling to find the PLUS side here!

"The ‘Gemasolar’ plant has been built by Torresol Energy, a joint venture between the Spanish Sener group which has 60% and Masdar from Abu Dhabi. It has 2,650 mirrors which are GPS controlled to follow the sun, and has cost 171 million €.

It uses new technology which makes the most of a system which stores molten salts and can work at temperatures as high as 656 degrees centigrade. The new plant is able to supply the power needed by 27,500 homes. It has a power of 19.9 MW, and can supply 110 GW of clean power per hour, and reduces CO2 emissions by 30,000 tons.

I can't even begin to work out how that's good economics!



  1. If you lot in Spain can't make solar energy economical what chance have we got in the UK?

  2. Very true. I don't have solar panels so I don't know how economical they are.

    We heat with gas using propane cylinders. Just seems like an awfully expensive project just to supply 27,500 homes, don't you think?

  3. I have one pv solar panel about 12in x 6in powering a pathetic litte fountain in the garden pond. It only works when the sun shines, which ain't that often here is the west country. I think it would be more efficient if it were clockwork. It wouldn't be much of a problem to go wind it up every morning.

  4. "and can supply 110 GW of clean power per hour"

    That sounds unlikely. A nuclear power station can only supply about 10GW flat out.

  5. James, solar can be as ugly as windfarms. Both supply bribes to the short-term thinkers.

  6. Sean, a mate of mine jumped through all of the hoops here to become the sole Gibraltar govt approved importer/supplier of solar panels.

    The company has long since given up and branched out into other products because the govt (very sensibly) won't throw the huge subsidies at panels that they need to make anyone want to install them.

    As you rightly say, if they aren't worth it down here, then....

  7. Got to do something with all that salt now that we are not allowed to ear it.

  8. €171 million divided by 27,500 homes is €6,218 per home, write off the investment over ten years = €600 per year. If this installation produces enough electricity o power each home 24/7, then great, it sounds ever so slightly cheaper than using oil.

    If it only produces a tenth of the electricity needed, then it's not worth it, or perhaps it produces all of it and more and will last for decades without maintenance or repairs, then it's much cheaper than oil.

    I don't know, I'm just daying.

  9. Mark. You are clever :)

    I just worked out the initial cost (171m/27.500) and thought "WOW" what alot of money!