In the Province of Barcelona, 49 municipalities established an energy agency. They are focusing on energy efficiency and renewables. For their efforts, they have been awarded a Climate Star 2012.
On The Sunny Side: Energy from Biomass and Photovoltaic Plants
The sun often shines in the Catalan Province of Barcelona, very often even. It thus has ideal conditions for photovoltaic power. The Comarca Osona uses the power of the sun. Photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of 8,491 kW have already been installed, a quarter of all the PV plants in Catalonia are thus in this region. As a result, photovoltaic energy production has soared from 74 MWh in 2004 to 1.241 MWh in 2006! Osona, on the other hand, also has dense forests. And it is using them. From 2008 to 2011, 17 biomass plants with a capacity of 2.9 MW and consumption of four million kWh per year have been installed. A workshop is held each year for biomass installers and another one for geothermal specialists. The pinnacle is the annual biomass fair of Catalonia.
Support to Municipalities for Renewables and Energy Efficiency
An independent energy agency was founded to coordinate the activities. Forty-nine (out of 51) municipalities have already joined, the University of Vic provides scientific input and the Osona chamber of commerce and the NGO Friends of the Earth are partners. The energy conservation and the increased energy efficiency over the past ten years generated savings of almost € 3.6 million. The energy agency provides monitoring for all municipal buildings, street lighting and infrastructure as well as technical and legal support – something small municipalities with often less than 2.500 inhabitants could not afford by themselves, thus these activities are also a model in inter-municipal cooperation. It has supported 17 signatories of the Covenant of Mayors to develop their SEAPs (Sustainable Energy Action Plans) and promotes the Covenant among the municipalities.
Picture credit: Diputació de Barcelona.
Website of the Province of Barcelona, member in Climate Alliance, to which Osona belong
YouTube Clip (in English) with statement of Osona representative