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Spain's Photovoltaic Revolution: The Energy Return on Investment (SpringerBriefs in Energy) 2013th Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1441994363
ISBN-10: 144199436X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pedro A. Prieto is a Telecom Technical Engineer. He has worked in the telecom sector for 30 years as development engineer and professor in the ITT R&D Labs, commercial director, export director and vicepresident of the Radiocommunication division in Alcatel.

Pedro is vice president of a non-for-profit organization, the Asociaciónpara el Estudio de los RecursosEnergéticos (AEREN), whose media is the web page Crisis Energética (, is working as an open space for debate and communications on energy issues and their role in demography, development, economy and ecology and is a reference in the Spanish speaking world for ASPO (The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, an Association of scientists of all over the world, devoted to the analysis and study of the global peak oil and gas and its consequences for Mankind). AEREN represents ASPO in Spain. He attends many conferences on peak oil and renewable energies.

Pedro is a board member at ASPO International (, and is also member of the non-for-profit organization Científicospor el MedioAmbiente (CiMA) (

Since 2004, Pedro Prieto has led several solar photovoltaic projects in Spain, a leading world country in solar PV penetration, covering today about 2.2 percent of the total national electric demand, with about 3,750 MW installed base, of which he partially owns and completely manages a 1 MW modern feed-in plant in operation. He has assessed public and private entities in several projects for more than 30 MW, and has supervised, offered and dimensioned many other similar solar photovoltaic projects.

In 2009 he was engaged as Director of Development for Alternative Energies at a listed Spanish Corporation devoted to the fields of telecommunications, technology, infrastructures and renewable energies. 

At present, Pedro works as a truly independent consultant in solar PV projects. 

Charles A.S. Hall is Professor of Environmental Science at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse.  He received his PhD. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under Dr. H.T. Odum.  His fields of interest are Systems Ecology, Energy and Biophysical Economics. Dr. Hall is author, coauthor or editor of eight 8 books and 260 scholarly articles that have appeared in Science, Nature, BioScience, American Scientist and other scientific journals. He is best known for his development of the concept of EROI, or energy return on investment, which is an examination of how organisms, including humans, invest energy into obtaining additional energy to improve biotic or social fitness.  He has applied these approaches to carbon balance, fish migrations, tropical land use change and the extraction of petroleum and other fuels in both natural and human-dominated ecosystems. Presently, he is developing a new field, biophysical economics, as a supplement or alternative to conventional neoclassical economics, while applying systems and EROI thinking to a broad series of resource and economic issues.


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Product Details

  • Series: SpringerBriefs in Energy
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2013 edition (January 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144199436X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441994363
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the first time an estimate of Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI) of solar Photovoltaics (PV) has been based on real data from the sunniest European country, with accurate measures of generated energy from over 50,000 installations using several years of real-life data from optimized, efficient, multi-megawatt and well oriented facilities.

Other life cycle and energy payback time analyses used models that left out dozens of energy inputs, leading to overestimates of energy such as payback time of 1-2 years (Fthenakis), EROI 8.3 (Bankier), and EROI of 5.9 to 11.8 (Raugei et al).

Prieto and Hall added dozens of energy inputs missing from past solar PV analyses. Perhaps previous studies missed these inputs because their authors weren't overseeing several large photovoltaic projects and signing every purchase order like author Pedro Prieto. Charles A. S. Hall is one of the foremost experts in the world on the calculation of EROI. Together they're a formidable team with data, methodology, and expertise that will be hard to refute.

Prieto and Hall conclude that the EROI of solar photovoltaic is only 2.45, very low despite Spain's ideal sunny climate. Germany's EROI is probably 20 to 33% less (1.6 to 2), due to less sunlight and efficient rooftop installations.

Spain saw much good coming from promoting solar power. There'd be long-term research and development, a Spanish solar industry, and many high-tech jobs created, since the components for the solar plants would be manufactured locally. Spain imports 90% of its fossil fuels, more than any other European nation, so this would lower expensive oil imports as well.

To kick start the solar revolution, the Spanish government promised massive subsidies to solar PV providers at 5.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ChemSciGuy on August 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Energy return looms large as we grope for ways to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. This book has got to be the definitive reference on solar photovoltaic power. It is a detailed and careful analysis. The book is bursting with interesting data and observations. Hall is certainly the world's expert on EROI and this is a nice addition to his body of work. That work concludes that energy returns likely in the range of 8 or so are really required for a sustainable energy system. Sadly, by a couple methods of analysis the Spanish solar experience points to an EROI of less than 2.5.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mònica Bibiana Berdugo Moreno on April 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book presents, objectively, EROI calculation of the Photovoltaic energy generation system in a case well supported in data.
Even though there is not an explicit reference of the lack of considering energy consumption implications previous to make political decisions in the book, interested readers would be also interested in look for related literature. Energy politics have strong implications, but curiously, in most (if not all, I do not know) energy is not taken in account in the measure that this issue should be treated.
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