Solar thermal energy tipped to continue its growth in Spain

A media report has indicated that Spain's solar revolution at home may slow down but it is not expected to stall.

"Spain is a leader in CSP and hybrid solar/natural gas systems," Paolo Frankl, head of renewable energy at the International Energy Agency, said according to"And in Spain, I expect a shift from ground-mounted plants to solar installations in industrial sites, buildings and other infrastructure like highways. Competition helps innovation."

The report highlighted that critics have warned that when subsidies dry up, so will solar's appeal and cuts will drive developers to other markets with high subsidies. Referring to reduction in the PV feed-in tariffs by about a third to around 33 eurocents per kilowatt hour, the report also added that solar-thermal executives fear the same fate within 24 months as new plants add solar power.

But several companies still continue to have a bullish outlook towards Spain, as the report pointed out that from power towers to parabolic trough plants and from photovoltaic farms to roof-mounted solar panels, solar energy is booming in Spain.

"We've been in Spain since 1999 where 80 percent of our revenues originate because its South has double Germany's sunshine and attractive feed-in tariffs," reportedly said Henner Gladen, chief technology officer, Solar Millennium.

For its part, the government has demonstrated its commitment towards the development of the solar thermal sector.

"It is Spanish companies which are exporting technology to generate this (solar thermal) energy, including to the US," Spain's Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian was quoted as saying by Reuters in July this year. "This makes us the standard for clean technology with a great future," he added.