The BBC were lucky enough to be given a tour of the new solar power station in Spain. The station has 600 mirrors which focus sunlight onto water pipes at the top of a 40 storey tall concrete tower. The strength of the reflected light is so great that water vapour and dust in the air is illuminated.
David Shukman, BBC science correspondent, says, "The effect is to give the whole place a glow - even an aura - and if you're concerned about climate change that may well be deserved."
The light from these 600 mirrors heat water, turning it to steam which is used to drive a turbine and generate electricity. The plant is the first commercial solar station in Europe, generating 11 Megawatts according to it's operators, Solucar. This is set to rise though, as the plant is not finished - thousands more mirrors will be added to the 600 already installed.
The energy produced by this plant is three times more expensive than that produced by coal and gas power plants, which seems like a bargain to me. Clean solar power produced on this scale is a truly impressive achievment, and plants like this should be built wherever possible. :: BBC