The Roadmap of Energy in the Figueres of 2050 is a long-term strategy for changing the city’s energy model. This Roadmap has been drawn up by the citizens and the social agents of the city by way of a process of public participation which has made it possible to gather information, stimulate debate and propose and agree on a model and the necessary actions to achieve it.
As the latest step in the energy diagnosis of the city of Figueres, a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) has been conducted, observing the following characteristics which have to be taken into account in future planning, and which manifest the origin of the failings observed and counterpose them with the strategic points to be considered.
‣ Figueres has a relatively moderated climate which, compared with other latitudes of the continent, requires less energy use in climatisation and lighting.
‣ Figueres is a compact city, which makes it possible to replace motorised vehicles with mobility on foot or by bicycle in urban journeys, reducing energy consumption and atmospheric pollution.
‣ Proximity to the rural environment and biofuel energy sources (biomass, biomethane).
‣ Potential for exploiting the wind to generate energy (wind power).
‣ Potential for exploiting solar radiation to generate energy.
‣ Possibility of availability of agricultural and livestock products of proximity.
‣ The lack of treatment of urban wastes in the district, particularly organic waste, becomes a possibility for executing a project that will respond to the needs for treatment of this waste and combine it with a project for generating energy
‣ Continued and unpredictable growth of the costs of fossil fuels against a reduction in the costs of renewables.
‣ The context of crisis may help to catalyse the desire to reduce energy dependence, materialising when the economic situation improves if work is done on social awareness-raising and information on the viable alternatives.
‣ The prevision of low population growth and the restriction of available development land may entail an increase in rehabilitations of buildings. If these are carried out under criteria of very low energy demand and local generation of a part of the social demand, it may become a very positive scenario.
‣ The city has experienced periods of powerful growth followed by periods of moderate or low growth, meaning that a single construction model may be very present in the city and that identifying standard measures could be a successful method, reducing implementation costs through standardisation and specialisation of local companies.
‣ Few projects of energy efficiency and local energy production under way.
‣ Few social awareness-raising actions at the local level.
‣ Little if any assistance for renewable energies.
‣ Low budget for energy efficiency measures.
‣ Low prevision of renovation in homes.
‣ Difficult detection of generic economic measures to reduce energy demand in existing construction that will guarantee an economic return within a reasonable period.
‣ The energy expenditure of families in the home does not represent a disproportionate expense for the family unit (between 5% and 15% of the family income), with the exception of cases of energy poverty, and the measures in isolated form do not significantly reduce the global energy demand.
‣ Expectation of low return on investment in energy generation projects and reduction of demand in construction.
‣ Negative regulatory framework for initiatives of decentralised electricity production.
‣ Technical Code of Construction with little strictness concerning obligatory insulations, which implies that with a low rehabilitation rate it will contribute very little to the reduction of the city’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
‣ The investment capacity of the private sector and households will be limited as long as the situation of economic crisis continues.
‣ The new non-renewable technologies and the unfavourable economic strategies addressed to lengthening the life of the conventional energy model (such as fracking) may jeopardise the payback of many measures. Consequently, it would be irresponsible to propose payoffs in the long term (especially to families beyond a 4-year payback period), with the exception of the measures which could truly confront the new strategy of the energy market.
As a result of the various public participation actions carried out during the execution of the IMAGINE project, the citizens of Figueres have defined a vision of energy for the Figueres of 2050 and a Roadmap for achieving it.
The vision of energy in the Figueres of 2050 defines a future energy model envisaged by the inhabitants and the social agents of the city. It is a long-term vision (horizon 2050) which encompasses all the aspects linked to the local energy level. It is presented on the basis of large thematic blocks.
A puzzle makes it possible to fit together the different pieces of a set in a coherent and ordered manner. The puzzle of energy in Figueres is composed of the following pieces: Society, Mobility, Energy, Housing and Climate Change.
The puzzle represents the integration of the parts and their profound interrelationships. The energy model of the Figueres of the future proposes to articulate a global and integrated strategy which will take into consideration the parts and their multiple interactions. The actions and classifications of these groups are set out in the Actions section, which classifies within each group the technical, social or planning actions into which the actions detected during the drafting of this document can be grouped.
Graph 3. The puzzle of the vision – (see pdf file)