9 April 2014

Press release

Gemasolar wins the DESERTEC Award 2014

Four nominated power plants advance the global energy transition

Hamburg, 9 April 2014 – DESERTEC awarded the Spanish power plant Gemasolar of the operating company Torresol with the DESERTEC Award 2014. The decisive criterion for granting the award was the technical innovation in the field of thermal heat storage for a reliable energy supply. The solar thermal power plant is the first of its kind to use molten salt for both heat transfer and heat storage. When operating at maximum capacity, Gemasolar, which has a total storage capacity of 15 hours, can produce electricity at night, as well as in cloudy weather conditions. It complements other alternative energy sources, such as wind and photovoltaic, because it can compensate fluctuations in their energy supply. Consequently, these variable sources can reach their fullest potential without the use of fossil fuels.


DESERTEC nominated four future-oriented power plants, which prove that innovative solar technology can supply energy day and night. Besides Gemasolar, the power plants Andasol, Puerto Errado 2 and SHAMS 1 were nominated for the award.


With the DESERTEC Award, DESERTEC recognises outstanding accomplishments that advance the global energy transition. “In the last years, more and more power plants were built to utilise renewable energy sources available in deserts and arid regions. They are trend-setters for the future carbon-free energy supply of the world,” says Dr. Ignacio Campino, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DESERTEC Foundation.

Santiago Arias Alonso, Torresol’s Technical Director of Operations and Maintenance, is particularly delighted about winning the DESERTEC Award 2014: “It is a great honour for me to be part of a company like SENER, which realises one of the world’s biggest solar projects by building innovative power plants such as Gemasolar.


DESERTEC is committed to using the infinite potential of arid regions to produce clean energy. The goal is to make civil society, business and the media aware of this potential and to support sustainable energy projects in arid regions. The concept aims not only to advance the global energy transition, but also to provide an opportunity for regional development to local communities.


To fully utilise the potential, DESERTEC developed in 2012 criteria for a reliable energy supply and eco-socially responsible actions. “What kind of future do we want? Today, we lay the groundwork for our future energy supply. Each coal- or nuclear power plant built hinders the global energy transition. All four nominees have proven that feasible alternatives do exist. The alternatives are not only faster and easier to implement, but are also exceptionally useful to the people living in arid- and desert regions. To raise awareness of this potential and to mobilise people are important goals of the DESERTEC Foundation,” says Andreas Huber, Member of the Board of Directors of the DESERTEC Foundation and Secretary General of the Club of Rome in Germany.


Gemasolar received the award at the DESERTEC Award ceremony on 8 April 2014, which was organised as part of the „Forum Erneuerbare Energien“ at this year’s Hannover Messe. For more information on the nominees and the DESERTEC Award, please visit http://www.desertec.org/en/concept/award/


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