Barcelona Develops Solar Pavement at a Historic Square

The Barcelona City Council recently revealed that it is funding the development of a 50-square-meter pilot project at Plaça de Les Glòries Catalanes, a historical square, for testing the feasibility of PV-paving technology which will be supplied by Spain’s Sorigué and Hungary-based Plati. The project won the municipal challenge ‘Generator pavements’, which sought innovative solutions for generating renewable energy using city infrastructures.

The results of the project will help examine the potential of solar paving materials. As part of the project, 340 mm x 340 mm x 61 mm solar panels will be installed, which comprise electrical wiring and a very resistant, non-slip glass. The modules, which have a combined power capacity of 9 kW, will form a paving area will maintain its function as a pavement. For the first pilot test, the pavement will supply electricity to a public bicycle rental service in Barcelona, so that energy generated in real time can be monitored. The expectations of the developers is that the plant will produce 7,560 kWh of electricity annually, enough to power three households. The feasibility of replicating the formula in other places in the city, will depend on the evaluation of the results by a municipal commission. While the city is footing the bill to the extent of €30,000, the remainder will be paid by the manufacturer.

Eloi Badia, who handles climate emergency and ecological transition at Barcelona City Council, has said, “We’ll have to assess the wear and tear because obviously it’s not the same as putting panels on a roof, although they are highly resistant.”

The initiative is in accordance with Barcelona’s larger vision of revamping the energy model by cutting down greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Supported by the BIT Habitat Foundation, Barcelona City Council, through the Barcelona Energy Agency (AEB) and the i.lab programme, launched the ‘Paving generators’ challenge in 2019, aimed at making the city’s existing infrastructure- including pavements- capable of generating renewable energy. With 1,380 linear km of streets, whose surface area comprises 11 kilometre square of roads and 9 kilometre square of pavements, Barcelona has a lot of existing infrastructure suitable for the experiment.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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