The city councils of several cities, including Madrid, have taken a step forward to improve the air of its inhabitants. APPA Renovables welcomes the initiative to introduce fiscal measures, such as the bonus on the Real Estate Tax (IBI), for renewable urban air conditioning and calls for the same benefit for all renewable technologies, so that the decision is made by suppliers and consumers in accordance with technical-economic criteria and to guarantee maximum efficiency of each project.
Biomass and geothermal solutions for urban air conditioning “are seamlessly integrated into these policies” by meeting thermal needs with “renewable systems perfectly compatible with the air quality of cities,” the Association of Renewable Energy Companies ( APPA Renovables) noted in a press release.
The large population concentrations have an even more important reason to bet on clean technologies: the health of citizens
For the renewables association, the control of energy costs in the face of “the variability of the price of fuels and environmental commitments” are “powerful reasons” for renewable development at the national level. However, the large population concentrations have “an even more important reason” to bet on clean technologies: “the health of citizens”. According to the latest reports of the European Environment Agency (EEA), air pollution causes about 490,000 deaths in Europe and 31,530 in Spain.
In our country, around 80% of the population lives in cities that are real energy sinks, where half of the energy is consumed in the residential sector. Specifically, more than 20% of national energy consumption is allocated to the air conditioning of buildings, where fossil fuels are mainly used, as the penetration of thermal renewables is still testimonial in our country´s urban air conditioning. Thermal renewables represent a tool for municipalities to improve the quality of life of their citizens and move towards the energy transition of urban centers.
All of the above mentioned leads, APPA Renovables to “welcome the initiatives that seek a sustainable and renewable air conditioning, which guarantees high energy rating values and better air quality in cities.” In this sense, the association has insisted that it is necessary that the measures of the consistories include all renewable technologies so that each citizen, depending on the existing technical-economic characteristics and their energy needs, can choose their most appropriate renewable solution. Or a combination of them, since thermal renewables (biomass, geothermal and solar) are hybridizable technologies, thus achieving maximum energy and economic efficiency of the resulting air conditioning system.
Biomass solutions can cover the entire thermal demand, from individual boilers to large heating networks
Biomass systems are low emission and perfectly compatible with the air quality objectives of the cities. These solutions can cover all the thermal demand, from individual boilers to large heating networks, which contribute in a highly efficient manner to meet the renewable heating needs of several buildings complexes (blocks of residential flats, offices, sports centers, etc.). Finally, geothermal heat pump systems combine the use of renewable energy that is available in all types of soil with high efficiency to generate heating, air conditioning and hot water (DHW) in one same system.
Heating networks for urban air conditioning
The high concentration and enormous diffusion of emission points that has led to the progressive installation of individual boilers in the cities can make it difficult to control the emissions of the systems. However, existing or planned networks are the spearhead of a practice that should be common because they combine the efficiency that large facilities provide. One example is the Móstoles Econergía heating network, which supplies heating and DHW to 2,500 homes, although it is planned to serve 4,000 additional homes. This network, which uses wood chips, reduces the cost of DHW and heating by 15% and prevents the emission of 9,000 tons of CO2.
Geothermal: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
The operating conditions of the geothermal exchange systems based on heat pump remain practically constant, given that the soil temperature remains unchanged from a certain depth. This allows reaching high seasonal yields (SPF) above 4, which guarantee, not only the excellent efficiency of these air conditioning systems, but their renewable nature. This doesn´t happen with other air conditioning systems that use heat pump, with significantly lower seasonal efficiency values, which compromises their renewable nature.