Frankfurt, Madrid The scene is something out of a James Bond film. Manuel Romero enters his office on the second floor and pulls up the beige sunshade on the window front. This gives a clear view of a 15 meter high tower, at the foot of which 169 freshly polished, three square meter mirrors are arranged in a row on the north side.
It looks like something out of a movie when they focus the sun’s rays and reflect them to a point at the top of a tower. At the focal point, they generate an incredible 1500 degrees of heat, 2500 times more intense than the sunlight we receive on Earth’s surface.
The entire aviation industry is looking at the test facility. Romero is deputy director of the Madrid research institute IMDEA Energy and an expert in solar thermal energy. The plant produces kerosene from water, sun and carbon dioxide (CO2). It is the first in the world to integrate the entire process from capturing sunlight to making kerosene.