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Experts at the "World Solar Power" conference confirm that thermosolar power plants are one of the best solutions for slowing climate change

October 29, 2007

Seville, 29 October 2007.- Carlo Rubbia, 1984 Nobel Prize winner for physics, was responsible for closing the first edition of the “World Solar Power 2007” conference which was held over three days at the Hospital de los Venerables in Seville, the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation. Rubbia, who is currently advisor to José Manuel Durao Barroso, Chairman of the European Commission, strongly advocated thermosolar energy during his address, in which he pointed out that “it is very similar to hydroelectric power, offering low cost electricity, without polluting, and can generate power flexibly, according to demand”.

The conferences, organised by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and Abengoa Solar, have been attended by more than 170 leaders from the thermosolar sector, who support the generation of thousands of megawatts of clean thermosolar energy and a stable regulatory environment.

Representatives from the industrial and financial sector highlighted the importance of having a sustainable framework for generating solar electricity. In their addresses, they all highlighted the current tariff schemes in Spain and Germany as the most efficient for the development of the sector. Portugal, France, Italy and Greece have also recently published solar tariffs, and outside of Europe, Algeria has become the leading country to approve a thermosolar premium. Santiago Seage, Chairman of Abengoa Solar, pointed to Europe and Spain as pioneers of the tariffs scheme. “The results of developing diverse renewable energies have been excellent. In the case of thermosolar power, the logical path is to keep the tariff scheme and increase the current ratio of megawatts in Spain and do it soon, in order to continue developing this technology”, said Seage.

Strong investment in R&D

The senior representatives from the thermosolar sector reiterated the importance of research and development (R&D) in a still embryonic sector that is capable of reducing costs, increasing efficiency, etc. Abengoa Solar will invest €50 million in research and development projects in the next few years, “which will ensure that we are a leading player in the development of clean energy. Solar energy is a developing industry and to improve the technology and lower the costs we have to invest in R&D. In fact, at Abengoa Solar we have more than 40 people working in R&D that are collaborating with the relevant research centres in each specialist area", said Seage.

Abengoa Solar and Acciona also presented the first operational results from their PS10 plant in Spain and the Nevada Solar One plant in the United States, at the conference. Among the new thermosolar plants under construction are the two Andasol plants of ACS Cobra and the two Solnova plants of Abengoa Solar, each with a 50 megawatt capacity and which will come into service between 2008 and 2009. Furthermore, Abengoa has begun to construct the first plants in the world that will combine thermosolar energy with natural gas by integrating a solar field with a combined cycle plant in North Africa, Algeria and Morocco.

The Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings (Idea) and the Spanish national grid (Red Eléctrica de España) also pointed out that there are seven projects under construction in Spain with a capacity of 350 megawatts. The three international thermosolar energy associations, the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (Estela), the Solar Energy Industries Association (Seia) and SolarPACES, as well as the Spanish entity Protermosolar, all highlighted the rapid growth and interest in thermosolar plants around the world, since the plants offer a solution to climate change, they can be managed with the electricity network and they can cover the peak demand time in summer months.

Abengoa Solar is the Abengoa’s company dedicated to developing and applying technologies for producing energy from the sun. Abengoa Solar uses both high temperature thermosolar technology as well as photovoltaic.

Abengoa is a technology company that applies innovative solutions to sustainable development in the infrastructures, environment and energy sectors. It is a publicly listed company with a market capitalisation in excess of €2.5 billion (23/10/2007) and it has a presence in more than 70 countries in which it operates with its five business groups: Solar, Bio-energy, Environmental Services, Information Technologies, and Industrial Construction and Engineering. (

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was started in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos (Themes of Seville) and Iconografía de Sevilla (Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and recordings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created at the same time. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance of the company’s involvement in activities that directly benefit society, beyond its core technology based work, and from this the Cultural Fund Foundation of Seville was created.

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