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Solar and Lunar Power en Espanol

Here are two pieces of good news from Spain.

Red Electrica De Espana (REE), which operates the Spanish electrical grid, reported earlier this week that in April, 54 percent of Spain's electricity came from renewable sources. That's up from March, the first month in which more than half of the nation's power came from hydropower, wind, and solar.

Only 3.6 percent of that came from photovoltaic sources -- but that number is set to go up. The Western Spanish state of Extramadura, which gets 3,200 hours of sun a year, just announced plans to build the third largest photovoltaic plant in the world.

That project is moving forward despite an announcement from the Spanish government last week that it is cutting subsidies to renewables to the tune of one billion Euros. Spain's deep commitment to green energy accounts for the 35 percent jump since 2006, when renewables accounted 19 percent of the nation's electricity.

Spanish good news item number 2: The Barcelona-based architectural firm Rawlemon has come up with what we believe is the coolest piece of photovoltaic (PV) hardware ever.

Architect and designer Andre Broessel says his ß.torics system — a spherical, sun-tracking, PV-concentrating glass globe — is so efficient that it can concentrate sunlight up to 10,000 times. So efficient, in fact, that it can generate electricity from moonlight. (!!)

A rather visionary architect as well as a designer, Rawlemon has a number of very cool ideas about ways to deploy this technology, including embedding the globes in buildings (as above) and setting them up in public places where they function as a kind of outdoor sculptures.

(Thanks to Santa Cruz's brilliant "Bubble Magic" man Tom Noddy for the tip about Rawlemon.)

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