Solar energy boom in Spain as foreign investment grows

Photovoltaic facility in Valencian province of Alicante. Photo: Miguel Lorenzo / El Periódico
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Solar energy in Spain hit an all-time peak production record last week as foreign fossil-fuel companies scramble to get in on the veritable boom in solar-power opportunities in the Spanish energy market.

Generation of electricity from photo-voltaic plants in Spain hit an all-time high of 5,076 megawatts (MW) shortly before 2 pm on Monday, according to data from system operator Red Eléctrica de España (REE).

The current record-breaking production of solar power is expected to be just the beginning, according to industry experts, as the continuous opening of new solar production facilities across Spain will make solar responsible for up to 35 percent of Spain’s entire electricity production over the next decade.

To cash in on the boom in solar in Spain, major international and Spanish oil and gas companies are rushing to invest in the sector, with national electricity giants Iberdrola and Endesa now facing competition not only from Spain’s own natural gas producers Repsol and Cepsa, but also British Petroleum, Portugal’s Galp and France’s Total.

► News Sources: El Periódico, El Economista and Expansión …

Through its Lightsource BP subsidiary, British Petroleum is invested in solar projects that generate 2,000 MW of electricity in Spain.

Total has just announced the purchase of two portfolios of photovoltaic projects for 2,000 MW of power to the companies Solarbay and Powertis at a cost of 1,400 million euros, bringing its total production in Spain to 2,800 MW of solar energy.

Galp recently bought a portfolio of projects from ACS energy subsidiary Zero-e, investing around 750 million euros in solar plants generating 2,930 MW of renewable energy.

Repsol has a total installed solar capacity of 2,952 MW and projects totaling another 2,700 MW are in the pipeline, while Cepsa has invested in a partnership with Masdar to build solar production facilities that will generate 600 MW electricity for Spain.

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