Calvià is interested in co-developing a unified, comprehensive and user-friendly approach that would support the city in collecting data, as well as measuring and monitoring impacts of its efforts towards better energy efficiency.
Calvià, located in Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, Spain, is one of the Mediterranean’s most popular sun, sea and sand tourist destinations. Although its economy heavily depends on tourism, the municipality wants to grow and develop in more sustainable ways. It was one of the first municipalities to create and implement a sustainable tourism policy, and today it is a successful example of how to implement sustainable tourism practices.
The municipality has ambitious climate goals which include improving energy efficiency of municipal buildings, increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix, and making the tourism sector more sustainable.
Since the late 1980s, Calvià Town Council has developed different policies aimed to minimise the impact of tourism on the natural environment. These policies led to the creation of the Tourism Excellence Plan (1990), which included building clearance to regain open space, attempts to offset the seasonal nature of tourism and training and employment. It outlined three key climate targets: environmental recovery of coastal areas; promotion, improvement of quality and professionalism in sustainable tourism model; and cooperation, social cohesion and citizen participation.
In 1996, the municipality of Calvià joined ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and signed the Aalborg Charter. A year later it implemented the Local Agenda 21 for Calvià, which aimed to develop a new strategy for local development based on sustainable tourism and protecting the natural environment. In 2015, Calvià endorsed the Basque Declaration, which outlines new pathways for European Cities and Towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe.
The municipality has been a part of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy since 2011, a consortium of local governments who voluntarily commit to meeting and exceeding the EU climate and energy targets. Calvià submitted its first Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for 2013-2020 in 2012. In November 2020, the municipality approved the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan ( SECAP) for 2021-2030.
Calvia’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) of Calvià: 2013-2020 committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to 2007. This SEAP was envisioned to be a flexible tool for long-term planning to develop actions and projects that reduced emissions in various sectors, like economic, residential, transport, waste production, etc. Some of the actions included in the plan were improving energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems, increasing the share of renewables in the city’s energy mix, and making the tourist sector more sustainable. In November 2020, the municipality approved the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), which outlines the updated objectives and strategies until 2030. The key targets are to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 40% and increase the share of renewable energy sources by 27%. To reach these goals, the municipality plans to improve energy efficiency in public buildings, reduce energy consumption, promote renewables and more sustainable transport, and raise awareness among citizens, in addition to other actions.
Energy efficiency: The municipality is carrying out energy audits and evaluations in municipal buildings, and organising energy savings and energy efficiency trainings for city administration. It is also working on implementing an energy data management and monitoring system.
The city is currently planning to develop 376 social housing units that include potential sustainability measures, such as renewable energies for self-consumption, thermal insulation, natural or recyclable materials, and installing a monitoring and verification energy performance dashboard, which would enable quick reaction to problems in the system.
Over the next few years, the municipality plans to introduce a biogas production and energy co-generation project in a municipal wastewater treatment plant (Santa Ponça WWTP). The goal is to produce heat and electricity for self-consumption in the municipal treatment facilities from the biogas generated by anaerobic digestion of sludge. It would reduce fossil fuel consumption and external electricity, and reduce gas emissions from burning excess biogas.
Renewables: The city installs renewable energy systems (photovoltaic energy) in public facilities, buildings and parking. It also promotes the use of renewables in private households, companies and hotels. The municipality plans to establish mixed energy communities and implement agreements with regional and autonomous administrations.
It is also involved in a comprehensive refurbishment process for the most degraded residential buildings in the Mature Tourist Areas. This process aims to improve energy efficiency in the buildings, reduce energy demand, and improve the overall sustainability of the area. The actions will be carried out both on buildings’ façades and roofs, in order to achieve better thermal and acoustic insulation. The solar collection systems will be installed on the buildings. In addition, the project will improve the comfort and accessibility of the buildings and the common areas.
Transportation: The municipality intends to promote electric vehicle use by installing public charging points throughout the city, and implementing tax incentives, as well as reduced parking fees for electric vehicles. A 30+ kilometer network for personal mobility vehicles is also planned for the coming years, as well as expanding the network and charging points for electric vehicles.There is also the idea to replace obsolete municipal vehicles with hybrid or electric vehicles based on existing subsidies or the needs of each department or area. However, at the moment, there is no comprehensive and coordinated plan to change the fleet of vehicles in the municipality.
Lighting: The municipality has adopted a Public Lighting Efficiency Plan that aims to reduce energy consumption of public lighting in the municipality. In recent years, the City Council has replaced more than 12,000 discharge lights (sodium/mercury/halogen) and 761 fluorescent lights, and installed 1,583 LEDs in different areas, which resulted in a total of 14,344 light points.
Education: Calvià City Council has recently designed an environmental education plan to be carried out in the Galatzó Public Estate “Finca Pública de Galatzó,” a municipality-owned area with rich natural heritage. The plan aims to educate people about Mediterranean biodiversity, environment and nature in the Galatzó area, as well as promote the area to residents.
Calvià is interested in co-developing a unified, comprehensive and user-friendly approach that would support the city in collecting data, as well as to measure and monitor impacts of its efforts towards better energy efficiency. Changing measuring criteria and fragmented monitoring systems based on different indicators make it hard for municipalities to make well-informed decisions and develop long-term planning and implementation strategies. A simplified tool, like the MICATool, could potentially help cities make the decision-making processes more efficient. Moreover, having evidence for positive outcomes of the city’s climate policies could increase support for further, bolder sustainability actions.