Today FuturENERGY finds itself having to share news that no-one ever wishes to do, that of the sad death in Seville yesterday of Professor Valeriano Ruiz, a pioneer of CSP technology in Spain since the 1970. He was also one of our main supporters with whom we have had the enormous pleasure and good fortune to work over the past eight years since FuturENERGY entered the world of technical press for the energy sector.
However, the relationship between the team at FuturENERGY and Valeriano Ruiz goes back to well before the creation of the magazine; a relationship which grew from the merely professional to the personal level, thanks to his open, straightforward and caring nature. His passing has left all of us at FuturENERGY feeling both deeply saddened, but also profoundly grateful for his continued support and the affection he showed us.
Reactions to this news have not been slow in coming, and the CSP business association, Protermosolar, of which Professor Ruiz was its first Chair, has released a statement highlighting the immeasurable work that he undertook in the field of CSP electricity. Valeriano Ruiz was the impetus behind the creation of Protermosolar in 2004, along with half a dozen large companies. He played a key role in eliminating the barriers to drawing up a regulatory framework that would enable the deployment of CSP plants in Spain. He was also one of the founding members of the European association ESTELA. Similarly, he encouraged and provided advice on the construction of the first commercial CSP plant, the PS10 in Sanlúcar la Mayor which, after having been inactive since 1990, represented the renaissance of the CSP sector at global level in 2007.
First as a professor, and later as Full Professor of Thermodynamics at the Seville Higher Technical School of Engineering, Valeriano Ruiz transmitted the values of CHP technology, both electric and thermal, as well as his enthusiasm for the subject, to a huge number of his student engineers and who represented a talent pool of professionals without whom the leadership of Spain in this field would not have materialised. Some of these were directors of the Almería Solar Platform, a project to which he felt very close ties, and which represented a key element in the R&D that supported the development of the sector in Spain. This has been recognised in the book he sponsored and edited, entitled “CSP Electricity. The research success story”.
“It was only thanks to his determination and commitment that 50 CSP plants were constructed in Spain” stated Luis Crespo, his successor as Chair of Protermosolar following his retirement and with whom he shared the difficult negotiations that prevented the first attempt to apply retroactive cuts in 2010.
FuturENERGY joins with Protermosolar in our wish that the memory of Valeriano Ruiz remains indelibly written into the history of the energy sector in Spain, as surely as it will live on in the history of our magazine.