Renewable energy in the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz

Vitoria-Gasteiz, as the rest of the Basque Country, relies almost completely (more than 90%) on the import of fossil fuels both for direct use (natural gas, petroleum products) and for electricity generation. A natural gas network is available throughout the city, and is widely used in industry, residential and service sectors. Cogeneration units are installed in a few public buildings such as hospitals, and to a minor scale in some residential buildings. Petroleum products are the main fuel for transport. Biomass fuel is used in some public buildings and swimming pools, but its use remains very low in percentage.

Vitoria-Gasteiz aims at reducing its energy consumption by rationalising energy use and promoting the use of more efficient technologies such as district heating and micro-cogeneration, as well as greater energy efficiency in new and refurbished buildings. At the same time, the city aims to promote renewable energy sources such as solar power, geothermal systems, wind farms and biogas from urban waste. In line with these objectives, the city council adopted a Climate Change Prevention Strategy in 2006, and agreed to cut emissions by 16% by 2012. In 2009, it signed up to the Covenant of Mayors and in 2010, approved the Plan against Climate Change, promising more ambitious reductions. The city’s long-term objective is to become a carbon-neutral zone, with an interim goal of cutting emissions by half by 2050, through wide-ranging actions in different sectors and public education.