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Giving energy efficiency the green light

The CEB is part-financing key energy efficiency projects in Spain’s Castilla y León region. The projects, being implemented by SOMACYL, the region’s public utility company, are promoting a more sustainable approach to heating and lighting.

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Segovia, Castilla y Leon, Spain
Castilla y León in northwestern Spain is one of the country’s 17 autonomous communities, with its own executive, legislative and judicial powers. The north of the region has traditionally been a mining area, so coal-fired heating (as well as gas- and oil-fired heating) is the standard in many households.

The CEB is partially funding various investments in energy efficiency and wastewater infrastructure being carried out over a five-year period (2014-2019) by SOMACYL, the regional public utility company in the region. The Bank is loaning the company €50 million, half of the value, with the European Investment Bank (EIB) co-financing the other half.  

“SOMACYL is carrying out an important programme of actions in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energies, seeking to modernize thermal infrastructures and public lighting, in the autonomous community, based on criteria for the renewal of equipment, improvement of lighting quality, efficiency and energy saving," Jesus Bragado, General Manager of Administration and Finance, SOMACYL.

Moving to biomass heating

biomass.jpgWith funds from the CEB and EIB, SOMACYL is aiming to replace coal- and oil-based heating with highly efficient forest firewood biomass boilers. This is a local, sustainable resource, producing no greenhouse gas emissions, and helping to support a circular economy. It boosts employment in rural areas, reduces dependence on fossil fuels and lowers the risk of fires.

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  • Castilla y León is the only autonomous community in Spain with a specific Bioenergy Plan.
  • It aims to boost biomass energy consumption from 2% to 8%, replacing fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions.
  • Only 13 states and 10 regions (out of a total of 271) in Europe have a similar plan.

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Lighting upgrades

SOMACYL is also implementing energy efficient lighting systems on the region’s streets and in public buildings. This work involves replacing high energy consumption bulbs (such as mercury vapour or sodium vapour types) with low consumption luminaires (such as LED), and adding modern remote control systems and lighting controls. This work will reduce lighting costs in the long term and is likely to benefit more than 28,000 people in Castilla y León, particularly in small villages where outdated (and potentially unsafe) lighting systems.

Shared benefits

Working with SOMACYL is helping the CEB to better respond to the needs of beneficiaries in regions, as well as local authorities, that we would otherwise be unable to reach. Our financial contribution is supporting vital investments in key infrastructure sectors, improving Castilla y León’s environmental protection standards and enhancing its social infrastructure.   

“This is an example of how the CEB can financially support Spanish autonomous communities and municipalities in their effort to mitigate climate change and to foster the environmental transition to low-carbon economies,” Maria Sigüenza, CEB Country Manager for Spain 
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