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Valencia uses streetlights to recharge electric vehicles in a sustainable project

origin 1The City of Arts and Sciences, one of Spain’s 12 treasures ©©VisitValència

Internationally renowned for its extraordinary architecture, the Spanish city of Valencia was this year selected among the 100 European cities that have taken up the challenge to become climate neutral by 2030.

Once home to a local fishing community, the popular Cabanyal area has become a laboratory for energy efficiency, implemented as part of MAtchUP, an EU-funded project to develop and scale up smart city solutions, designed to support sustainable urban transformation.

“The solar panels were installed as part of the MatchUp project. It’s one of the pilot projects we’re developing here.”

“In particular, the City Council has launched a call for tenders for the installation of this type of solar panels, the so-called ‘solar pergolas’, in five different locations in Valencia,” said Laurie Barriol, research and development technician who works on EU project MATCHUP.

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This public hub of urban innovation will soon host the city’s first “socialized solar plant”, a €100,000 project, 80% financed by citizens who each invested between €100 and €2,000.

About 20,000 street lamps along the seafront are being equipped with devices to monitor their consumption and correct functioning remotely.

Streetlights are also used to recharge electric cars. The initiative has been so successful that the municipality is now working to increase the initial 12 charging stations to more than 150.

“To estimate the savings, just think that installing a charging point of this type costs around 2,500 euros, against the 50,000 euros needed for traditional charging points,” explains Ernesto Faubel, coordinator of the project.

Together with Dresden in Germany and Antalya in Turkey, Valencia is one of the so-called lighthouse cities, selected to show large-scale demonstrations within the MAtchUP project.

Watch the video in the player above.