He redawn project, a European initiative to promote efficiency in water networks, and organized by Feragua and the Watef group from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, has served to launch its pilot plant in Spain, located in the estate Calonge farmhouse, in palm of the river.
The aforementioned initiative is a European innovation project of three years duration which studies how to improve energy efficiency in water distribution networks in the Atlantic area through innovative technology based on the use of microturbines and reverse pumps. Endowed with a budget of 2.9 million euros, co-financed by the Feder funds through the program Interreg Atlantic Area.
Among the Spanish partners are the University of Cordoba –which will define the technical requirements and develop the field research– and the Association of Irrigation Communities of Andalusia (Feragua).
Through this project, the possibilities of mini-hydraulic energy in the water networks of the Atlantic area, including supply networks, industry networks and irrigation networks. For this, it will have three pilot plants, such as the one installed in Palma del Río, where mini-hydraulic equipment will be installed to generate energy with average powers of around 10 kilowatts.
The general secretary of feragua, Peter Outcasts, has explained that 3% of global energy consumption is associated with the production, distribution and treatment of water, "a sector that is the fourth most energy-consuming and contributes greatly to CO2 emissions".
The 80% of the cost of water for supply is associated with the energy required for its collection
To the environmental impact, water treatment must be added its economic cost, "since even the 80% of the cost of water for supply it is associated with the energy required for its collection, treatment and distribution and in the case of irrigation, it represents an average of 30% of the farmer's budget and in some cases exceeding 50%”, he added.
Parias has detailed that localized irrigation, which already represents 50% of the irrigated area in Spain and 75% in Andalusia, manages water more efficiently but consumes more energy, having duplicated its electricity costs since 2008, and in Andalusia the electricity bill for irrigation amounts to around 180 million Euros.
These data, together with the forecast growth of 33% of the world population for 2050 and of more than 50% of energy demand, it is necessary to promote this type of technology recovery of hydroelectric energy in water networks, which in the case of the Calonge farmhouse pilot plant will contribute to recovering "around 12 megawatt hours and generating environmental savings of more than 9.5 tons of CO2," he said.