Spain could create all the energy Europe needs, according to Elon Musk

The Bloomberg website published a story that deals with the current crisis that the world continues to suffer from semiconductors, pointing out that Spain plans to invest 12.4 billion dollars to build chips and semiconductors, a gesture that would diversify the Spanish economy, heavily dependent on tourism.

Spain, the dynamo of Europe

Elon Musk, who today also asked about the long-awaited edit button on Twitter after becoming the largest shareholder of the social network, I replied the following:

“Spain should build a massive solar panel. It could supply power to all of Europe.”

Let’s not forget that one of Musk’s companies is also in charge of solar energy, energy storage and batteries for both personal consumption and mass consumption in large areas. In fact, it was Musk himself who suggested the idea of ​​mounting solar panels on nuclear power plants to increase production and efficiency.

The problem is the infrastructure in Spain, which should still grow more to take advantage of the enormous solar potential of this country. Musk imagines a Spain capable of producing so much energy that it could be Europe’s only supplier, with what this would entail at levels such as the economic one, now that we have been paying a crazy amount for the price of electricity for months due to the energy crisis.

Develop photovoltaic solar energy in Spain

A recent study on hours of sunshine has resulted in Alicante, on the Costa Blanca, has been named the sunniest city in Europe. According to data collected by the vacation rental search engine Holidu, which has used the weather tracking website World Weather Online to calculate the average number of hours of sunshine per month in cities across Europe, the tourist area exceeds Catania (Italy) , Valencia (Spain) and Nice (France).

Alicante, with beaches like Postiguetreceives an average of 349 hours of sunshine per month, according to the data collected. And Valencia also sneaks into that list. Spain has an enormous number of hours of sunshine per year. But it is also incomprehensibly the European countries that take the least advantage of this potential. According to the site The Energy Newspaper, there are more than 15 GW of solar energy installed in Spain. And the plans include reaching 46 GW by 2030. That is, installing more than 3,000 MW each year in 9 years. Quite a challenge ahead.

According to data from REE, the photovoltaic solar system has 15,098 MW installed today. It is getting closer to the 17,094 that hydroelectric power has, the third technology with the highest installed power after wind (28,165 MW) and combined cycles (26,250 MW): “At the end of 2018, Spain had 4,767 MW installed, but thanks to the renewable energy auctions of PP and PSOE, capacity has been increased by more than 10,000 MW in three and a month and a half”.

The Torresol Energy plant

Torresol Energy Investments is a company for the development of renewable and alternative energies, focused on concentrated solar thermal energy. And in Spain we have various solar thermal power plants with central tower receiver technology and molten salt storage systemboth in the South of Spain in the areas of Seville and Cádiz.

From the road between Seville and Córdoba, you can see its central tower lit up like a beacon by 2,600 solar mirrors of 120 square meters each, which surround it in an immense circle of 195 hectares. In fact, it was at the time “the first plant in the world that works 24 hours a day, a solar plant that works day and night”, explained Santago Arias, technical director of Torresol Energy, which manages the plant, at its inauguration a decade ago.

the mecanism is the next: the panels reflect the sun’s rays onto the tower, transmitting energy at an intensity 1,000 times higher than that of the sun’s rays reaching the ground. The energy is stored in a vat filled with molten salt at a temperature of over 500 degrees C (930 F). Those salts are used to produce steam to spin turbines and produce electricity.

The plant’s capacity to store energy is what makes Gemasolar so different, since it allows the plant to transmit energy during the night based on the energy it has accumulated during the day.

The costs of photovoltaics and the good hours of sunshine that Spain offers make the country a European paradise for photovoltaics. And businessman Elon Musk agrees. What do you think of turning Spain into the dynamo of Europe? Would the economy improve? Would it have an impact on the (high) Electricity prices?

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