The city of Barcelona in Spain has begun a €100m (~USD$106m) school climate control plan, called The Pla Escola Clima Barcelona. The project seeks to mitigate the effects of climate change in schools – particularly during heatwaves – and to expand the city’s ecological transition by decarbonising school premises. Pla Escola Clima Barcelona is part of the city’s Incentive Programme for Solar Energy Generation, which is committed to creating a changed model based on clean power generation throughout the region.
“We will guarantee good temperature conditions in schools and help decarbonize them,” Jaume Collboni, mayor of Barcelona, stated during a press conference.
The project will be implemented in a total of 170 schools between the years 2024 and 2029, to include primary schools, special education centers, and secondary schools. The program will directly benefit 55,519 students in the city. The project will be organized through the Barcelona Education Consortium and funded using revenues from the tourist tax.
Pla Escola Clima Barcelona will include the installation of solar paneling, enabling buildings to generate their own energy for their own consumption, as well as producing surplus power for the community. The solar power generated will run the new aerothermal climate control systems that replace gas installations, improving the energy efficiency of school buildings.
Estimates have calculated the amount of surface space for the installation of solar panels on school rooftops at 181,000 square meters, with a potential annual production capacity of 31.27 GWh/year. This is more than required to cool down spaces in the hot months and to heat premises in the winter.