Adeje takes another step towards sustainability and renewable energies for communities

2020/06/25 16:47:33 Written by Canarian Weekly Tenerife

“We are taking a decisive step so that Adeje can soon have buildings, streets or whole neighbourhoods that are renewable energy self-sufficient, reducing the amount of contamination we are generating, saving on consumption, reducing the cost of electricity and creating new job opportunities, among many other things”. Clear words of encouragement from Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga regarding  the new agreement with the University of La Laguna to investigate the use of renewable energy in the borough.

The project will see streets or whole neighbourhoods chosen for a pilot project to reduce contamination and cost – currently Adeje residents pay over €100 million every year in electricity. The project is led by the prestigious professor from the department of physics of the ULL, with a Masters in Renewable Energies, Ricardo Guerrero Lemus, and a group of investigators. 

This is a pioneer project in the Canary Islands and is already underway. There will be various phases, the first including determining which parts of Adeje will be chosen for the practical implication of the switch to alternative power sources.The team are also looking at the best technologies for the project, based on the use of photovoltaic energies, electric vehicles and electric aggregation.

Adeje has been a member of a Mayoral Pact for Energy and Climate since 2016, and declared a climate emergency last October, signing a pact for the neutralisation of carbon by 2040. “What we are taking now is another step towards these objectives”, said the mayor, for whom, “our commitment is absolute, not just with the elimination of the carbon footprint and the use of clean energies…we also want a healthy borough, one with auto-consumption in as many areas as possible, giving residents access to cleaner cheaper energy, avoiding emissions, generating activities which create green jobs and help in the ecological transition”.

We are also creating our Parque Central, an area that will be the epicentre of all our sustainable actions, a point of departure for our more ambitious plans for the streets and neighbourhoods. The park will also house the new Farmers Market, urban orchards, and be a training centre for green job creation, among other things.

The energy auto-consumption will be a key part of Adeje’s sustainability plans. This consists of the use of energy generated by a installation for a small energy community. The new project will guarantee consumers access to alternative sources that will be cheaper and better for the planet, contributing to a reduction in the need to access the electricity grid, thus increasing independent energy use, reducing gas emissions.

This will also create jobs in the sector, as we have seen in other countries. The technology applied to develop renewable energies is more efficient and cost-effective and can work towards energy created in the best conditions by wind and solar power, with solar panels costing 70% less than a decade ago.

Regarding the energy communities, this is an  open concept suggesting the voluntary participation of residents, administrations and small businesses with implications for the local society, environment and economy.

With the agreement in place the Adeje council is moving to dramatically reduce the environmental impact energy consumption has in the borough, using a resource the borough has but rarely uses.  And as well as helping the environment the cost of energy will come down, and the borough will be less vulnerable to power cuts from the grid. Adeje can become a technology pioneer optimising the solar resource we have, using techniques that are not yet available in the marketplace.  We are a borough with one of the best solar irradiance (power per unit area (watt per square metre, W/m2) levels in the European Union, so we should be able to produce the cheapest energy.

The University of La Laguna has also underlined its commitment to the project and will continue to research the developing technology needed to obtain the social improvements desired, in particular in the creation of energy communities among residents, based on photovoltaic energy.