Solar power not a good idea for Torrevieja (Alicante) desalination plant

TORREVIEJA PLANT: Solar-powered desalination would be only 10 per cent cheaper Photo credit: tecnoaqua.es

AN Alicante University report has warned that using solar power for large-scale desalination plants would bring few economic benefits.

Lecturers Marcos Garcia, Joaquin Melgarejo and Borja Montano concluded in their survey that installing the necessary infrastructure for the Torrevieja plant would make a difference of only 10 per cent in energy costs.

They also pointed out that it would be necessary to fill an area equivalent to the town’s two salt lakes with solar panels to produce sufficient electricity.

The central government’s Environment Ministry intends to substitute part of the water that arrives via the Tajo-Segura pipeline with desalinated water.

Southern Alicante’s agricultural growers oppose the plan owing to the high price of desalinated water.  The Ministry has countered their objections with its solar power strategy which, it maintains, will lower the cost.

In contrast, the Alicante University report revealed that solar energy is viable for wastewater treatment plants, for desalinating brackish subterranean water and even powering water-transfer infrastructure like the Tajo-Segura pipeline.

But it is not a viable option for huge desalination plants like Torrevieja’s, Garcia, Melgarejo and Montano warned.

 

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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