Overflying birds of Extremadura, having filtered through the Andalucian windfarms, may be surprised to notice the year by year increase of photovoltaic panels in innumerable sun-soaked desolate Extremadura areas. In fact, Spain is teaming with forefront country runners for new ways to harness solar energy.
The newest power plant near Navalperal de la Mata, (50 kms from the Finca) in the middle of crane country, align long parallel rows of solar collectors with modern systems of full scale trough systems and high precision reflector panels. An important solar thermal tower with 4000 “heliostats” and a circular area of 1800m in diameter will soon be installed near Mérida (80 km).
Subsidies in the form of investment tax credits offered to the panel and dish manufacturers have recently come to an end, much to the regret of small landowners who had largely benefitted from increasing land prices.
Authorities are eagerly encouraging other forms of renewable energy like the Anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas, production of biofuels and composting. Local organic wastes associations are expanding. These “global” subjects are at present heatedly adressed during end-of-day bar discussions, much to the bewilderment of the elderly village dwellers.