The Valencia City Council saves 30% on its electricity bill since it has implemented the photovoltaic panels. The network of photovoltaic pergolas distributed throughout the city and the rehabilitation of public buildings with renewable energies has allowed the council to obtain savings of six million euros in the last year. The City Council’s bill has gone from 19.9 million euros to close to 13.6 thanks to the self-consumption facilities, which began to be projected in the past term and these last two have sprouted at the end of the administrative process.
The first pergolas were installed in 2019 in response to citizen participation processes and in two years the network already has about two dozen installations, which entail significant energy and economic savings, in addition to reducing polluting emissions. The energy efficiency actions in the city have been complemented with the installation of panels in municipal buildings and with changes in public lighting, where the usual installations have been replaced by LEDS and the lighting of municipal buildings has been revised.
According to the calculations of the Department of Resource Management, these changes in lighting have reduced the cost for municipal coffers by more than 5.1 million euros per year (from 12.7 million in 2014 to 7.6 million euros). euros in 2020). Regarding public buildings, the installation of panels has reduced the energy bill by 17.15% (one million euros in one year) and in municipal schools (from the 1.55 million that were paid in 2015 to 1, 15 of the last full exercise).
Much of the facilities arise from the citizen consultations that the municipality has launched by neighborhoods and districts of the city, recalls the Councilor for Resource Management, Luisa Notario, who considers interest “fundamental” because it shows that the residents and neighbors of Valencia and the municipal government walk hand in hand on the same path of sustainability, responsibility and efficiency “. Regarding the interventions in schools, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Councilor for Compromís explains that the objective is “to reduce the costs corresponding to the consumption of electricity and at the same time reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.”
To carry out the actions, the City Council designed the Energy Efficiency Plan and the Public Lighting Intervention Plan (IDAE II), which received eight million euros of European aid through the ERDF Funds. In 2017 the town hall launched the Valencia Solar project, an installation of five photovoltaic pergolas to supply energy to various municipal premises and a network of electric car charging stations. The total investment was 443,000 euros and an energy saving of 366 MWh per year was estimated; an economic saving of about 35,800 euros per year. “We promote the increase in the development of photovoltaic solar energy with the aim of reducing dependence on fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stimulating economic activity in the territory,” says Notario.
Another of the recent interventions is that of the Benimàmet Linear Park, a project that consisted of taking advantage of the shading that the park had to install photovoltaic panels on the roofs. In total, the project has consisted of 30.00 kW of nominal power and 35.64 kW of power installed in three pergolas, with a budget of 104,000 euros. Saving, indicates the council, has reached peaks of up to about three quarters of energy consumption and up to almost half of economic spending. It is estimated that the renewable energy generated represents a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 24.68 tons equivalent each year in one of the centers and 46.28 tons in the other. These interventions match the opinions of climate change experts, who emphasize the importance of locating “islands of freshness” in cities to combat rising temperatures and advocated taking advantage of public buildings for this type of facility. The actions, says the councilor, will be extended in the remainder of the term.