Malaga has launched many projects in recent years in the area of energy. The city is justly recognised for its commitment to sustainability in this area.
Malaga has launched many projects in recent years in the area of energy. Smartcity Malaga was a project designed to meet the guidelines set by Europe regarding energy, which promote efficiency, the use of renewable energy and advanced electricity networks with storage capacity. It had a budget of 31 million euros, and the financial support of the Centre for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI, for its initials in Spanish). Led by Endesa, it has involved 9 companies and research centres. Its initiatives have had an impact on 11,000 residential, 900 service and 300 industrial users.
Smartcity Malaga has allowed users to participate in Smart solutions related to energy efficiency and renewable energies, and has achieved an optimum integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity network, bringing energy generation and energy consumption closer together via the installation of solar panels in public buildings, the use of electricity microgeneration in hotels, and the development of mini and micro wind turbine systems in the area.
Smartcity Malaga is recognised worldwide as one of the largest projects in the field of smart grids, both due to its large scale and due to the diversity of the areas of work involved. This is demonstrated by the numerous visits from governments and public and private organisations that have wanted to participate in this pioneering and leading initiative in the sector.
From its start in 2009 to its completion in 2013, the major advances achieved have included saving more than 25% of electricity consumption in the implementation area, thanks to the use of energy efficiency systems with monitoring, control and active management of demand for industrial and residential users. Furthermore, 42% of residential partners decreased their energy consumption by more than 10% thanks to the use of home energy efficiency kits, which allowed them to manage their consumption from anywhere in the world via a smartphone. In addition, 4,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been prevented a year.
Malaga City Council approved the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (PAES, for its initials in Spanish) on 24th February 2010. The PAES establishes a series of strategic lines for improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions in the city’s various areas of activity. This plan emerges as an executive tool to set the roadmap for achieving the objectives established in the Covenant of Mayors, signed by the Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, in February 2009. This is a European Commission programme involving European local and regional authorities that have made a voluntary commitment to improve energy efficiency and reduce city CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020, thereby contributing to the European Commission’s overall objectives regarding energy saving, integration of renewable energies and reduction of emissions.
In addition, the city of Malaga has implemented energy management systems in public service buildings (Edificio Múltiple de Servicios Municipales [Municipal Multiple Services Building], Town Hall, “Los Ruices” Environmental Centre, Trade Fair and Congress Centre, and Guadalhorce wastewater treatment plant), in single-family homes in blocks of social buildings, in the city’s operational services (public lighting, irrigation systems in parks and gardens, electrical supplies and electric vehicle infrastructures) and in the municipal network of photovoltaic energy installations.
A major current expense for any city is public lighting. That is why Malaga has been implementing a series of saving measures in the public lighting network over the last few years. These have included the installation of astronomical clocks, the fine-tuning of on and off times, the widespread installation of stabilisation and reduction equipment for sodium vapour lamps, the monitoring and control of the network, and finally the current replacement and new installations using LED technology. Thanks to the investment made in energy efficiency, electricity tariffs have been optimised and astronomical clocks for lighting control have been regulated.
The savings made in the public lighting bill amount to 16% a month. When this consumption saving is extrapolated to public buildings and traffic lights, it amounts to a total saving of 40%. Furthermore, the installation of flow dimmer-stabilisers that reduce light intensity by up to 40% (during hours of reduced pedestrian traffic) in 70% of the city’s public lighting resulted in an annual saving in the electricity consumption of public lighting of 1.5 million euros in 2015.