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Thursday, June 4, 2009

"We are in the energy revolution, we can only change the speed of change"

They are not my words but words that were said in the presentation of the book: "La electricidad solar térmica: tan lejos, tan cerca" ("The solar thermal power: So far, so close" )by Valeriano Ruiz Hernandez, published by the Gas Natural Foundation.
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I began in renewables, then unknown to me, in 1999. First in service, and I quickly introduced to the engineering of electronic converters for wind turbines with doubly-fed generator, and training maintenance engineers of wind turbine manufacturers. At that time an innovative technology that allowed a generator with a variable speed, needed due to the variability of the wind, to generate electricity with a fixed frequency of 50Hz which is what we get at home. In this work, I traveled around the world. A long time since then, I'm ten years old and head of a small subsidiary of a German company in Spain in the field of PV. I'm older, but the renewable energy technology is more mature and younger than ever.

In 1999 were installed 300 MW of wind energy in a year in Spain, it seemed a whole record. In 2007 were installed more than 2400 MW.
In 1999, wind power produced 1.38% of the electrical energy of Spain. Last year 2008 wind energy produced 11.38% of the electricity and in the last 12 months more than 12%.
In 1999 there was in Spain just 4 MW of PV power installed and produced 0.0001% of the electricity consumed. Only in 2008 were installed in Spain more than 2,500 MW in solar photovoltaic energy, reaching a total installed capacity of 3390 MW. In April 2009 3.2% of the electrical needs of Spain were generated by photovoltaic solar plants.
In 1999 solar thermoelectric power was nonexistent. In 2009 there are more than 80 MW connected to the network with more than 1,000 MW to be connected to the grid over the next 12 months and more than 10,000 MW in the pipeline.

The benefits for Spain due to the promotion of the renewables are:i
1) Energy independence.
2) Energy inexhaustible forever and ever.
3) Non-polluting energy.
4) Improvement in the trade balance for two reasons: Reduction of the energy imports and increased exports of Spanish renewable energy technology.
5) Industrial and technological leadership worldwide in an area with a clear future.
6) Large numbers of highly skilled jobs.

As you can see a lot of things had changed since ten years ago. When I started the technology was a young upstart teenager, excited that it could contribute to the development of the society. A diamond in the rough. Today the technology, though it lacks a lot to cover, is already in industrial stage, proving every day, with its progress, that a future based on an economy with a 100% renewable energy is not an issue of many decades, centuries or even a utopia, but with political will, is a matter of few years.

In the coming days I will explain you about the figures for renewables in Spain and the world, as well as the different technologies. We keep in mind the words that has started this post.
Welcome to your blog, the blog of the energy revolution.

(This article is adapted from the original in spanish:“Ya estamos en la transición energética, sólo podemos variar la velocidad del cambio”)

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