Andalucia Diary – Seasonal Travel Notes

Star Gate?

A few weeks ago, as we sped towards Huelva on the motorway, I caught a glimpse of something I just couldn’t decipher. Solar_platform_seville_wwwandalucia
It was a warm day and humidity was making the
view hazy and grey. This, combined with the speed of the car meant I could not get a good picture – yet in the distance
I could clearly make out a star of light and a concrete tower. Had I just seen
a secret government installation? A star gate? A real life complex that would
match the science fiction of the Jodie Foster movie, “Contact”?
By the time we arrived in El Rocio, I’d forgotten about it
and was more focused on getting something eat.
However, today I was able to make sense of it all. In
the newspaper, hidden somewhere in the middle was a story about the official
opening yesterday, by the President of Andalucia, of the world’s most advanced,
commercial solar platform. This amazing complex, the first of two, built by
Solúcar Energía, S.L., at Abengoa, near Seville,
has just gone live and two weeks ago I had glimpsed one of the tests in the run
up to the opening.Abengoa_solar_platform_image_copyri
(The image below is copyright Solúcar Energía, S.L.)
Now the scientific bit; the plant basically works on the principle
of large, movable solar plates that scan the sun (180 in the first plant) and
focus its immense power towards a tower where it heats steam to 250 degrees C
that in turn powers a turbine to generate electricity. Wow! So that is why I saw such a strange star
of light. Now that’s a story that I think should get more coverage in the
Although I truly value the environment, I am no eco-warrior.
I certainly don’t want to give up life’s little luxuries just because we’re
told that reducing CO2 emissions is supposedly going to save the world. Surely we should use technology to help us
find alternatives and enable us to continue to lead better and better
lives. I’m sorry, but I like my 4 x 4;
and I like taking a cheap, no-frills flight away for the weekend.
For me, this type of solar plant is a great example of how
investment in cutting edge technology can help us lead modern lives, whilst
still trying to minimize our impact on the planet. The plant already provides enough energy for
18,000 homes and it is planned to increase that 10 fold in 6 years. What a superb solution to the growing energy
needs in Andalucia?
Cleaner car engines, more efficient jet aircraft,  solar and wind energy – all these things are
what we should be focusing on – not becoming vegetarian, home-bound, tree
huggers that are only allowed to fly away once a year and the rest of the time
we have nothing more to look forward to than emptying our DIY compost toilet!
Please! Technology has to be the way forward….

Sevilla solar power

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Andrew ForbesTravel & Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor Web: Twitter : @andrewaforbes Instagram @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »