Solar paving was installed on the Port of Valencia’s deck by Solum as part of the SuperLabPorts initiative, which is co-financed by the Valenciaport Foundation with the support of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV) and within the framework of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator.
The 24 solar tiles, located on the north dock of the Port of Valencia, can be walked on by pedestrians as well as withstand vehicles. They generate over one kilowatts peak of energy in just six square meters of surface area, representing an avoided 5.7 tonnes of CO2 emitted per year.
The tiles’ slick technological appearance contrasts with the sand and water beyond them, creating a striking futuristic visual similar to those encountered in solarpunk literature—a genre that seeks to imagine what a sustainable civilisation could look like and how we can get there.
The ‘how we can get there’ branch of these imaginaries, arguably at their best, chart pragmatic changes we can make today to advance sustainability and, therefore, might describe a world in flux—one with both recognisable and unrecognisable elements existing alongside one another. With the pavement being adaptable to any plot of land and resilient, and functioning as anti-slip flooring as well as a device that feeds energy into the grid, it’s an excellent example of such a vision brought to life: Beautiful, practical and gently integrated into familiar surroundings.
Innovation and sustainability are two priority areas in the Valenciaport zero-emissions 2030 strategy and this project seeks to deliver on both.
“One of the main aims of this initiative is to attract talent to the logistics-port sector by applying a strategy of open innovation in the Port of Valencia, in alignment with one of the main demonstrators in the new EIT Climate-KIC strategy, Deep Demonstration Net-Zero-Emissions for Resilient Maritime Hubs, where the co-design of innovative solutions… can be developed and implemented in the port area,” said Antonio Torregrosa, General Manager, Valenciaport Foundation.
The solar paving was developed by the start-up Solum, which responded to the Valenciaport challenge on innovation in photovoltaic installations in ports and which, upon reaching phase three of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, received €30,000 in funding.
EIT Climate-KIC continues to support the sustainable transition of the European maritime sector with its recent call for ClimAccelerator applications. Start-ups working to address climate change through energy, ship design, logistics, circular economy or waste are encouraged to apply before 26 June 2021.