March 5th marks the World Energy Efficiency Day, an area in which Porto Climate Pact aims to have a crucial influence. The Municipality of Porto has been investing in an intensive use of LED technology, photovoltaic panels, and in the strengthening of electric mobility and renewable energies.
The Porto City Hall’s initiative, publicly announced in September of 2022, wants to transform the city and create a model for society in which carbon neutrality becomes a reality, Hoping to achieve it by 2030. “The Porto Climate Pact is essential in order to guarantee quality of life in the city, but especially to ensure a sustainable future for our children and generations to come”, states Filipe Araújo, vice-president of the Porto City Hall.
The Municipality is certain that to achieve a carbon neutral Porto, it is fundamental to ascent to even higher steps of energy efficiency. Therefore, it has invested in more energetically sustainable practices and infrastructures, of which are example the transition of every street lighting in the city to LED technology. By July of this year, Porto expects to have 30 thousand LED streetlamps, allowing the public road’s energy consumption to be reduced by less than a half, which means a decrease in its gas emissions and an annual cost savings higher than one million euros.
The city has also been promoting electric mobility, with the increase of electric vehicles in the municipal universe, covering 75% of the city’s entire fleet. In 2023, Porto will have 267 chargers for electric vehicles in the municipal transportation networks, guaranteeing an efficient response to the growth of this type of mobility. It is also important to highlight that since 2021, all electric energy consumed by the Municipality of Porto was demonstrably produced from sustainable sources. A reality that is also present in the municipality’s companies Águas e Energias do Porto, Ágora, Porto Ambiente and GO Porto.
Porto, producer of green energy
A paradigm shift is also underway in Porto. "As a result of several initiatives, many of them initiated under the Porto Climate Pact, the city is asserting itself as a producer of clean solar-based energy, as well as ensuring its energy independence", recalls Filipe Araújo, also responsible for Innovation, Environment and Climate Transition. There are already public schools with photovoltaic panels installed, a number that continues to grow, although the goal is to use the roofs of more than 50 public housing neighbourhoods to produce 6 MW of renewable energy, directly serving almost 30 thousand people.
This alteration is already taking place in several municipal facilities, such as the Nova Sintra photovoltaic park. With an annual production of around 500 MWh and an installed power of around 454 kWp, this unit ensures the self-sustainability of the Águas e Energia do Porto campus, whose network of electric chargers is also fed by photovoltaic panels. Meanwhile, the installation of a photovoltaic park at ETAR of Freixo has already been adjudicated and will begin in the coming days, thus reducing costs and increasing the sustainability of the operation. Parque da Cidade will also be reinforced regarding the production of energy from solar exposure.
In order to help all citizens of Porto improve thermal comfort in their homes, the Porto Energy Hub was created. In fact, half of the population still says that excessive cold and heat inside their homes are a problem, to which the poor energy performance of buildings and high energy costs are contributing factors. The advisory project aims to, through a physical help desk, in the Gabinete do Munícipe, and also in digital format, to give families the necessary information to reduce costs, through the introduction of energy efficiency measures and decentralised production of renewable energy.
About the Porto Climate Pact
The Porto Climate Pact is sponsored by the High patronage of the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic. It is an initiative of the Porto City Hall that seeks to unite the efforts of the many players in the city around a great common goal: achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The initiative has mobilised participants from various backgrounds and already has over 200 subscribers from areas as diverse as Academia, Telecommunications, Construction, Industry, NGOs, Third Sector, Sports, Justice, Education, Science, Health, Culture, covering institutions and business organizations in the city of Porto and the region.