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With climate change firmly on the map and wide ranging recommendations being handed down by international organisations such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) now is the time we all need to be looking at ways of reducing our impact on the environment. At a provincial level the Málaga Green Party recently mapped out a plan to increase our energy efficiency and introduce more renewable sources a proposal called ‘Málaga: Ciudad del Sol’.
Málaga is a growing municipality, and demand for electric is growing proportionately. Between 2002 and 2005 there was an increase of 28% in consumption and with continued development in the area this trend is likely to continue. To comply with the recommendations of the Kyoto Protocol Málaga needs to take action.The aim stated in the proposal is to address the issues from different sides: reducing consumption by 20%, by introducing up to 15% of total energy supply supplied by renewables, and reducing emmissions by 50%. Rather than investing in projects such as the Central Termica (see Chispa Dec/Jan 07) which are contrary to the spirit of international environmental agreements, where better to look than the sun that shines down over 300 days of the year. Yet the reality is that there is barely 1 panel per 1000 residents in Málaga.
The Greens specifically propose to increase the number of solar installations by 100% by 2009, reaching 5 panels/1000 habitants by 2011 and including solar installations in all municipal buildings, adhering to the law that all new builds must have solar water heating installed. An investment in Solar farms would also be an integral part of the plan, using municipal land to develop a network to augment the electricity supply. Ideally the aim would be to build a solar complex similar to the one recently opened near Seville which supplies 10Mkw. Energy efficiency is also integral to any plan of this nature and at present there is practically no investment in using bioclimatic designs in new buildings or in implementing energy saving initiatives for domestic purposes. With investment, education and incentive, Málaga could develop a clear and effective policy to reach the Kyoto Protocol’s key goals and pioneer a more sustainable model for future development harnessing the unlimited potential of the sun.