Renewable energy, widely used for centuries, have now become of great relevance in the world's energy supply. The use of renewable, inexhaustible sources of energy which also eliminate local greenhouse gas emissions is a very important part of the country's energy mix. The degree of maturity of technologies such as wind or solar power means that facilities of this type become increasingly available, and there are more options in continuous development and improvement.
Airports have great potential for implementing renewable energy, due to their unique conditions and infrastructure. Thus, the challenge is to integrate the renewable energy systems that are increasingly important in energy provision. There are many applications which can be covered by renewable energy in airports, giving them an ever greater degree of sustainability. Aena is actively studying the implementation, integration and development of renewable energy systems for its airports.
In this regard it is worth pointing out, to date, the presence of two wind turbines in La Palma Airport, world pioneer in international civil aviation in the use of wind energy as primary energy source, and the thermal solar panels installed on the terrace of Palma de Mallorca Airport, supplying hot water to this building in summer, and in winter connected to the heating circuit which provides central heating to the terminal.
Other facilities for reducing fuel consumption in Aena are the cogeneration plants at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airports and Bilbao. Both facilities make use of the heat of the gases emitted by the electricity generators and the cold from its low temperature refrigeration, in order to supply the central heating and air conditioning systems. In addition, the engines have electric generators fitted which produce the electricity for the terminal control area.
Likewise, the installation of hot water systems with thermal solar energy in various facilities in the airports of La Gomera, León and Salamanca, as well as renewable energy studies in the airports of Gran Canaria, Málaga-Costa del Sol and Seve Ballesteros-Santander must be highlighted.
Aena has a commitment to society to protect the environment and contribute to sustainability. Its aim is to reduce energy consumption in its facilities, permanently improve the management of facilities and operations and airport maintenance, use it efficiently by reducing greenhouse gas emission levels and encouraging a culture of sustainability, within the current legislation of each region.
To meet these goals, Aena systematically carries out energy studies and analysis in its airport installations.
As part of its strategy, Aena is drawing up specific recommendations and procedures for each area of activity, with energy conservation methods, practical energy improvements, and through these, lower costs.
The airports in the Aena network are also developing facilities with automatic systems with high energy efficiency and lower costs, which also include monitoring the variables associated with energy behaviour.
Aena's central services are promoting all these initiatives and projects, channelling them through its own investments to optimise its airport facilities.
Nowadays airports need an accessibility and mobility infrastructure which can improve ease of access and reduce the time spent travelling to or from cities and industrial centres, and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by current modes of transport.
To do this, Aena is actively developing and working in two areas of action:
- Sustainable mobility
- Mobility plans
Sustainable mobility is oriented to the modes of transport, processes and infrastructure which mitigate the emissions produced by transport, as well as reducing travel time to and from centres of activity in cities and their surroundings, in order to create more sustainable and accessible airports. It is also working on Mobility Plans which will form part of the access and transport infrastructure of cities and airports.