The state-owned company Sociedad Estatal de Aguas de las Cuencas Mediterráneas (Acuamed) will soon launch tenders for solar-powered desalination projects in Spain.
The Spanish government has approved a 2.19 billion euro ($2.38 billion) investment plan. The strategy was originally proposed by the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Population Development and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to combat drought and improve water resources.
The measures include building solar-powered desalination plants, supporting urban water reuse, reducing payments for affected agricultural farms and easing pressure on aquifers that supply Doñana National Park.
The government authorized the state-owned company Acuamed to launch tenders for new desalination plants and solar power parks with a budget of 600 million euros. Acuamed contracts to encourage investment in solar parks and sets a maximum selling price for desalinated water.
Spanish developers have already implemented projects using solar electricity to address water shortages with desalination plants.
Researchers from the University of León and La Laguna have created a model applied in the Canary Islands that calculates the parameters of a solar and wind power plant supporting a desalination plant capable of supplying the population until the end of the life of the plant.
In Andalusia, the goal of the Agua+S circular economy project is to obtain salt-free water from the sea using renewable energy produced by floating solar power plants in pools.
Spanish companies such as Abengoa and Ayesa have built the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in Saudi Arabia, which has been operating since last December and serves the water needs of about 3,000,000 people.
In Chile, the Spanish company Acciona supplies renewable electricity to a desalination plant in the Atacama region, which covers the consumption of people in four municipalities.