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Air-conditioning of buildings using solar energy


2% of buildings capable of having solar air-conditioning installed, could stop emitting 27,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere

The Basque Energy Authority (BEA) has been participating in the European ALTENER programme for the encouragement of renewable energies since their creation in 1992. Along these lines, the BEA has been chosen to develop a project involving the air-conditioning of buildings using renewable energies as an alternative to the traditional systems based on energies derived from contaminant fossil-fuels.

The project, in which, apart from BEA, energy authorities from seven European countries are taking part, is known as Climasol. The importance of the project is clear when we consider the fact that 2% of new office buildings capable of having solar air-conditioning systems installed could stop emitting 27,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

There are a number of reasons for the development of the project: reduction of CO2 emissions, the increase in the participation of the renewable energies in the overall energy production, the search for sustainable energy as well as the high dependence for energy supplies in Europe on outside sources.

The activities being carried out under the ALTENER programme are: research studies, technical assessments, the drawing up of norms and standards, and the experiments and test studies needed for the development of renewable energies. Moreover, it is involved in integrating all the countries wishing to join the European Community (Central Europe and associated countries) in projects related to renewable energies and in technological interchange.

Moreover, the requirements of comfort demanded today in all European countries, but especially those in the South, are such that air-conditioning has grown enormously in recent years. The growth in consumption derived from air-conditioning has become exponential. The project in which the BEA is involved is looking to make this growth in demand for air-conditioning compatible with sustainable development for the environment.

As a first step, knowledge of the existing technologies in all the European countries will have to be pooled. Then, and with the aim of creating conditions which will allow the reproduction of the project at a European level, some 20 viability studies will be carried out in as many places. The results of these viability studies will be made known to the target sectors of public administration, architects, technical personnel and the general public through the publication of a series of documents. It is, moreover, planned to train technical consultants connected with the building industry in order to encourage the practical application of these solutions thrown up by the project.

To date the SAVE and Altener programmes have followed different routes. SAVE programmes have been involved in investigating and encouraging the efficient use of energy. Altener, on the other hand, has been promoting projects and research involving renewable energies.

Nowadays, however, energy efficiency and renewable energies are more and more considered together and, thus, the energy policy of the European Union is integrating the two programmes. The programmes and tasks will follow the lines and targets as laid down in the “White Paper on Renewable Energies” and in the “Plan of Action for the Rational Use of Energy”.


Further information:
José Ramón Epelde
ENTE VASCO DE LA ENERGÍA Prensa y Comunicación
San Vicente, 8 planta 14
48001 BILBAO
Tel. 94.403.56.00
Fax: 94.424.97.33

Garazi Andonegi | BasqueResearch
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