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Spain powers up green economy

If Gordon Brown and his team want a couple of good ideas about using the ‘green’ economy to bolster up the UK’s recession fighting credentials then Spain seems to be a great example to look at.  Having already announced plans to radically extend the countries hi-speed rail network, Spain is also looking to further develop its renewable energy programme. Wind turbines which have sprung up accross the Southern European nation have produced 30% of their country’s energy for the first time this year and Spain also uses hydropower and Spain is already way ahead of the EU’s 2010  targets fro reducing greenhouse gas emissions from generating electrical power – 21% of Spain’s power is nuclear and just 14.3% carbon based .  Wind alone acounted for 16,740 MW of power (the UK by comparison produced 3241 MW) and this is planned to rise to 20,000 MW by 2010.  Spain estimates that a combination of wind, water and a growing input from solar power generation saved 20 milllion tonnoes of C02, allowed spain to save E1.2 billion importing power and created 40,000 jobs.  With the fastest solar energy market in th world, its no surprise President Obama last month said “think of what’s happening in countries like Spain and Japan, where they are making real investments in renewable energy.  They are surging ahead of us, poised to take a lead in these new industries.  Spain’s solar energy plants are expanding rapidly with 1,500 MW hours produced in 2008 .  All new homes must generate between 30% and 70% of their hot water using solar power.  The law also provides that all new commercial buildings must have solar panels.