Keywords: renewable energy region, 100% renewable energy self sufficiency region, Minorca Island, renewable energy in Minorca Island.
Minorca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands which is located in the Mediterranean Sea and belongs to Spain (Figure 1). This Island has a population of 88,000 inhabitants and an area of 694.39 km2. The major town are Maó and Ciutadella. The island is divided into eight municipalities. They are Ciutadella, Ferreries, Es Mercadal, Es Migjorn Gran, Alaior, Maó, Es Castell, and Sant Lluís.
Minorca emphasizes tourist activity even it is a complex territory where many economic activities converge. This island receives more than one million visitors per year and the natural and culture heritages are the most interesting in the Mediterranean. The protected areas occupy 46% of the surface area and the rest is represented by singular agricultural landscape. It deserves its consideration as cultural landscape according to the terminology of the World Centre of Heritage. The island lodges also around 1,500 megalithic monuments. In 1993, UNESCO declared Minorca as a Biosphere Reserve. This nomination converts the island into an international reference for sustainable development.
Renewable Energy Plan
The renewable energy plan developed within the framework of the Altener Program and implemented in close co-operation between the Consell Insular de Menorca and INSULA with the technical realization of the Institut Menorqui d’Estudis, is inserted in the general sustainable development strategy of the European Islands and in the specific lines of action that sustainable development plan marks for Menorca. One of the most important aspects of the Minorca Plan was given by the situation characterized by a very low renewable sources penetration (~ 1% of the primary energy).
The plan has complied with the objectives:
- Identification of the energy economy potential and the sources of renewable resources to be mobilized.
- Identification of the economic and technical potential to be developed.
- First forecast of the degree of mobilization and the interest of the actors concerned.
- Identification of political priorities for renewable sources in the context of island sustainable development.
Renewable and Environment – Sustainability Criteria
The special consideration of Minorca as a Reserve of the Biosphere of UNESCO has brought about that the resolution of eco-dilemmas in the implementation of renewable energy sources has occupied a preferential place in the Plan. Besides, other important aspects have been included also in the planning criteria. They are:
- Employment creation according to potential by sources.
- Promotion of the small and medium-sized local business.
- Qualification of the business and labor staff.
- Strengthening capacity of the image of joint responsibility that implies the Reserve.
The plan develops the following aspects on an horizontal approach:
- Specific information to the market actors
- Join the renewable energy component to Minorca’s institutional logo
- Establishment of a service of guidance and support on renewable energies
- Specific activities per renewable source (wind, thermal solar, PV, passive solar energy)
Energy Saving and Efficiency
The municipal public lighting system has been chosen as object of analysis and proposal regarding energy saving, taking into account that the electrical consumption in this sector represents 6% of the total. This demonstration action is completed with the proposal of incorporation of rational use of energy criteria to the Code of Good Practice and Renewable Energies of Minorca.
Prioritizing Activities of Actors and Sectors
Town Councils and Consell Insular
There were some first steps of the plan implementation were taken:
- Integration thermal solar applications into the principal public buildings.
- Photovoltaic installations in monuments and tourist centres in natural areas.
- Passive solar design for new public constructions.
Some priority activities of the plan implementation were taken:
- To launch a campaign aiming to install 8,000 m2 of solar panels in the island’s tourist buildings.
- To incorporate renewable sources as guidelines of action with the support of environmental management systems and bio-hotel labels.
Implementation of the plan had foreseen the adoption of accompanying measures such as:
- The creation of the Code of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency of Minorca.
- The necessary regulatory and legal actions.
- Deepening of specialized training.
Solar Field in the Summer House
This house is designed to be a summer house. The interior design spaces seek good relations with the outside world, the colonization of their surroundings and views. The plot was organized in a spatial structure, entirely feasible, based on a trace orthogonal, the combination of plants, platforms, water, trees, plants, Tanca, pergolas, walls and the house (Figure 2). The architect, Pablo Serrano Elorduy, combines those elements in a harmonious whole (Figure 3). The house is located in the center of the solar field which is divided into two position, front and back. It utilizes large windows and clean white walls which defines it identity. It is also occupied with stylish pool, wooden terrace, and lighting effects (Figure 4).