In accordance with international climate agreements, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7.6% annually until 2030 if we want to uphold the commitment acquired by the countries participating in the COP21 Paris Agreement. To achieve that difficult challenge, an unprecedented change must be carried out in the energy sector and, therefore, we must make use of all the emission-free electrical generation technologies available.
Spain, conscious of this enormous task, has been investing in the development of renewable energies for years and said energy type now reaches almost 40% of the electric production in our country. These technologies, along with nuclear energy, allow Spain to produce more than 60% of its electricity in an environmentally friendly way.
Solar thermo energy is one of those renewable energy technologies, and this generation technique now produces 2% of the electricity that we consume in Spain. In addition, thanks to a special salt system, this technology is unique in that it can store some of the energy coming from the sun in order to produce electricity after the sun has gone down. This makes the design and operation of these types of plants more complex than that of any other renewable generation technology.
The company ELECNOR has several thermo solar generation plants in our country and it has recently given Tecnatom several contracts for maintenance staff training at its plants. More specifically, these contracts are for the Aste 1A and 1B Plants (Ciudad Real) and for Astexol-2 (Badajoz). The three are 50 MW plants and based on cylindrical parabolic collectors.
The synergies of these training activities in the renewable sector with the more traditional activities of the Tecnatom Group are enormous. The complexity with which these plants are operated make the more than 60 years of experience of Tecnatom in nuclear sector staff training quite useful, as we can bring great value for our clients. Thus, after analyzing the training needs of the different professional profiles, a training plan was designed and personalized for the mechanical, electrical, and I&C maintenance staff at the aforementioned plants.
This agreement joins others that Tecnatom has begun to undertake in the solar thermal sector, like the simulation activities for training and engineering that are undertaken by the Group, as well as the inspection campaigns, operations and maintenance staff selection, and the drafting of operations and maintenance manuals and operational procedures for these types of plants. The emissions-free generation sector is Tecnatom’s most strategic field; it is where the majority of the Group’s business activities are concentrated on both the national and international levels.