Resolution of the challenge
How can we incorporate local renewable energy generation into the city's pavements?

Description and Objectives

Barcelona has committed to reducing its per-capita greenhouse gas emissions by 45% as compared to 2005 levels, by 2030. This entails, among other things, reducing consumption by means of energy efficiency and other measures, as well as increasing the local generation of renewable energy and multiplying the generation of solar energy in the city by five.

However, to achieve the emission reduction targets by 2030 we must go even further, so we want to study whether fitting renewable energy generation mechanisms in the city's pavements can make a significant contribution: Barcelona has around 1,380 linear km of streets, with a surface area of ​​11 km2 of pavements and 9 km2 of pavements, which is more than its 17.64 km2 of roofs. In addition, the city is in the process of rehabilitating a significant portion of its road surfaces.

In view of this, the Barcelona Energy Agency (AEB) and the i.lab programme have launched the challenge entitled "Energy-generating pavements: how can we incorporate local renewable energy generation into the city's pavements?" with the aim of finding potential solutions for the local generation of renewable energy in pavements and studying the feasibility of implementing them in Barcelona’s streets, squares and access pavements.

With this goal in mind, we are looking for solutions to pilot test the generation of renewable energy in the city's pavements and assess the results over a six-month period.

As explained above, we are looking for solutions to this challenge, with the following considerations:

  • The solutions must cover the city’s current energy uses and consumptions, without creating any new ones even if they are covered by renewable energies.
  • The solution must indicate how the power generated will be evacuated and injected into the city's electricity grid.
  • It must be designed to be fitted in the public space, outdoors, and with all the safety and robustness requirements that this entails.
  • We are therefore looking for an operational and functional management solution (installation, power evacuation, maintenance, etc.), and not just a technological one.

The winning proposal will receive a €30,000 subsidy award to carry out a pilot test in the city of Barcelona.


The City Council's response

A number of initiatives to test innovative technologies applied to the public space have been promoted by the City Council. Although in terms of power generation, pilot installations testing new technologies - such as hydrogen or solar cooling - and technological solutions to increase the performance of installations have previously been implemented , the only tests carried out so far on pavements have involved photocatalysis. Furthermore, the benchmarking studies and analyses of energy-generating pavements carried out have not been followed by any action due to the immaturity of the technology at the time of the studies.

The lessons learned from these previous experiences show that incorporating new technologies into the city poses a considerable operational challenge, which is why this challenge seeks not only isolated technological solutions but, above all and as already pointed out, comprehensive operational management solutions.


Vision for the future:

If the outcome of the test pilot is satisfactory, we would like to propose that energy-generating city's pavements are incorporated into the city’s pavements rehabilitation processes in the medium term.


Dates and deadlines

Presentation 26 September 2019
Assessment 15 October 2019
Resolution 20 November 2019

Present your proposal 

Here you can present your proposal for solving a challenge. To do that you will need to fill in the online form. Do you have any queries? Send them from the window you’ll find in this section.


What does point#10 of the Terms & Conditions (on Intellectual and industrial property and data protection) imply?

In the case of developing a solution or commercial product within the framework of the challenge and the participant wants to patent the solution and sell it to third parties, Barcelona City Council, as the challenge sponsor that allows to prove the solution in a real context, will have the right of use or non-exclusive, unlimited and free licence.

If after implementing the pilot, the solution is proven successful and there is continuity, the business opportunity for the owner regarding Barcelona City Council will be to charge for the use of the product or service, but not the right of use or licence. The owner may do business with other City Council and charge for use and right of use, but not grant an exclusive licence.

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