Analysis of the implementation of a photovoltaic plant in Catalonia
Tutor / director / evaluatorDrabek, Magdalena
Document typeMaster thesis (pre-Bologna period)
Rights accessOpen Access
Energy is a basic need for humanity. Simply, look back, and see that even for the primitive man was essential to develop any kind of activity. Currently, energy consumption is based on waste from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas. These sources are not inexhaustible and these can cause environmental degradation. The increasing energy demand generally in developed countries, where we are included, is due to their lifestyle. Thus, it is anticipated that the primary energy demand in the world in mid-century XXI will double or triple the current demand, owing to the increasing industrialization, economic development and the population growth. With this consumption of fossil reserves created by nature during centuries will be extinct. It is estimated that reserves of oil, gas and coal will be exhausted in 21, 65 and 155 years respectively, at current rates. Thus, the only alternatives that remain are nuclear fusion energy, which still has much to develop, and renewable energies. In front of conventional sources, the renewable energies are clean and inexhaustible resources provided by the nature with practically no impact on the environment. Within the renewable energies, there is hydropower energy, which is almost saturated in Spain, requiring large extensions of land; the wind energy which is the one which has had the greatest boom in recent years in Spain; without underestimating the biomass, which nowadays represents almost the 4% of the energy consumption in the European Union, and probably will be the future fuel for vehicles, along with solar thermal and photovoltaic, which are those with higher expectation for the future. In this project we will focus on solar photovoltaic energy. Each year, the sun sheds on the surface of the Earth, four thousand times the energy we use and will continue for several billion of years, World electricity demand is about 17 300 TWh. The average production of a photovoltaic plant in central Europe is 120 kWh/(m2·year), so it would be enough just an area of over 144 000 km2, equivalent to 1,5% of Europe to cover the worldwide demand. It is clear that the sun gives us more energy than we can consume, due to the efficiency used to exploit it.