renewable energies

Nuclear cemetery designation mired with controversy, but radioactive waste management unavoidable

July 29, 2015 01:45 PM | Kyle Brown

There has been discussion among the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) to approve construction of Spain's Temporary Centralised Storage Facility, more commonly referred to as the ATC (Almacén Temporal Centralizado), and a decision is expected in the coming days. The Spanish Government designated Villar de Cañas in Castilla-La Mancha's Cuenca Province as the location for the ATC at the end of 2011 to temporarily store 6,700 tU of radioactive waste accumulated in the country, including high-activity radioactive materials that could not previously be stored in any facility within Spain's borders. At present, nuclear reactors – including three active in Catalonia – must manage high-level waste on-site, either in light water pools or in dry storage casks until it can be shipped to a completed ATC. While Catalonia's nuclear power plants are licensed far into the 2020s, environmental concerns over the safety of radioactive waste hang over nuclear energy's future.

SEAT builds the world’s largest solar plant on a car factory

November 12, 2013 07:00 PM | ACN / Maria Belmez / Esther Romagosa

Car manufacturer SEAT, based in Martorell (Greater Barcelona), has set up 53,000 solar panels on the roof of its main factory and on top of parking spaces. The company has just completed the third stage of a €35 million project, which started in 2010, and occupies 10% of the 3 million square metres of its Martorell facilities. The solar panels occupy an extension equivalent to 40 soccer fields and can generate 15 million kWh of clean energy per year. This is equivalent to 25% of the energy needed to produce the Seat Leon or to the “annual consumption of 3,500 households”, said President Jürgen Stackmann. With this eco-friendly project Martorell is now the automation factory with the largest solar plant in the world. Furthermore, the panels were installed over existing facilities and do not occupy additional space.

Lleida University leads an international study on efficient thermal storage

November 7, 2013 10:13 PM | ACN

The University of Lleida (Western Catalonia) will be leading the INNOSTORAGE Project regarding efficient thermal storage. They will focus their study on improving energy-storing by using Phase Change Materials and their temperature changes. The project, which is financed by the European Commission, aims at reducing CO2 emissions and saving energy by finding new efficient energy-storing systems. Thanks to the Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES), INNOSTORAGE brings together searchers from Catalonia, France, Israel, the United-States, Australia, and New-Zealand.

The world’s first plant combining biomass and solar thermal energy begins supplying power in Catalonia

December 13, 2012 11:27 PM | CNA

This pioneering energy plant, located in western Catalonia, will generate 22.5 megawatts of power, the equivalent of the electricity supply to 27,000 houses. The hybrid system combining solar thermal and biomass energy enables the production of electricity 24 hours a day, increasing the production capacity of the plant. It occupies 96 hectares and has 2,688 solar panels. In just 20 months, Abantia and Comse Emte have built the plant and put it to work. The €153 million project will prevent 24,500 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.