Akuo Energy is a French renewable energy company that develops and operates facilities around the world.
Climate change has serious consequences for the population in terms of health, economic development, employment and urban planning, among many others. Through two closely linked projects, Cartuja Qanat and LIFE Watercool, Seville (Spain) is developing an effective strategy to adapt to climate change by enhancing the value of the arteries that make up its streets and neighbourhoods.
Both projects are the result of collaboration between Zabala Innovation and Empresa Metropolitana de Abastecimiento y Saneamiento de Aguas de Sevilla (Emasesa). By managing the integral water cycle in the city of Seville and 11 other municipalities in its metropolitan area, and providing service to more than one million inhabitants, Emasesa is one of the country’s leading operators in this sector.
Funded through the Urban Innovative Actions programme (UIA, an EU initiative that provides urban areas across Europe with resources to test innovative solutions to their challenges), Cartuja Qanat promotes social exchange and sustainable models of urban growth with a focus on environmental comfort.
The intervention area is Thomas Alva Edison Avenue, in the Cartuja Technology Park, where ancestral climate control technologies are being recovered and modernised, and the climate improvement strategies of Expo’92 are being rescued. Innovative components and strategies such as variable solar control, nocturnal dissipation towards the sky, dissipation towards the ground with nocturnal evaporative regeneration, thermal storage in qanats (underground galleries) and solar electricity production are used throughout this area. The result is a pioneering zero-energy and zero-emission installation on an annual basis.
It also incorporates remote sensing technology and artificial intelligence for optimal management of the facilities using presence control, user preferences and climate prediction, among other elements.
In this way, the project objectives are met, i.e.:
Once the most suitable programme for submitting the project application had been identified, Zabala Innovation and Emasesa, with the support of the rest of the project consortium, worked on drafting the proposal, first in UIA and then in LIFE, the EU instrument exclusively dedicated to climate action and the environment.
LIFE Watercool was conceived as a replication and transfer project, the expected results of which include, among others:
In this way, a section of the Avenida de la Cruz Roja in Seville was opened to pedestrian traffic in September 2022, once the renovation works of the supply and sanitation networks and paving had been completed, turning this area of the Andalusian capital into an urban laboratory against climate change.
Previously, after the negotiation of the contracts with the European Commission and the start-up of Cartuja Qanats and Life Watercool, Zabala Innovation was selected in a public tender as the consultant in charge of the economic and administrative management of the projects, jointly, until their completion in 2023-2024.
Zabala Innovation’s relationship with Emasesa dates back to 2017, when it began to provide comprehensive advice on the detection, preparation and management of proposals at both European and national level.
Since then, Zabala Innovation has collaborated and advised this company on more than 50 projects (funded, among others, by the H2020, UIA, LIFE and GWOPA programmes), eight of which are international in scope. In the last two years, this collaboration has also been extended to the field of Emasesa’s strategy and the presentation of projects in PRTR calls for proposals.
In line with the environmental axes of its strategic plan related to its contribution to greater resilience in new climate scenarios and thanks to this close collaboration, Emasesa has positioned itself as a benchmark in the adaptation of urban areas and in the management of the water cycle as the backbone of the city.
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