Avià is a small municipality in Catalunya, part of the Bergueda county and about 1h30 drive north of Barcelona. With its 2 257 inhabitants, Avià is a rural community that committed to the energy transition for two main reasons. One is that climate change is an urgent threat and that we must ALL act NOW if we want our children to live on a liveable planet. Two is that the energy transition is a real opportunity for local development. Indeed, Avià has been giving subsidies to its inhabitants thanks to the energy savings made on public buildings and lighting. These savings represent 50 000€ every year, a significant amount that is re-injected in the local economy. Economy also comes from the installation of solar panels on public buildings, now facilitated by the change of regulation concerning self-consumption in Spain. With this economy, the local government of Avià give 2,000€ subsidies to private individuals and industries willing to self-produce their electricity using solar panels.
A pioneer Local Urban Plan is about to be approved by the Territorial Planning Commission of Central Catalunya, authorizing the installations of solar panels on the buildings of the city with the lowest limitations possible. The should boost the installations of solar panels and may allow Avià to become the town with the most solar panels in Catalunya!
But that’s not it, the energy transition is a real transversal challenges and Avià took it as such. They created a local carpooling system, invested in biodegradable public dog bags.
Avià has muh more to offer, and not just regarding energy, the town promotes the work of local artists as well. Avià puts a focus on local development as mentionned in introduction of the post, but local does not mean isolated and cooperation and exchanges of experience mean a lot to the local government. In this regard, they also support the use of solar energy in Senegal (training of local people for maintenance of solar panels…).
We hope this got you motivated to take action because local governments can make a difference. Change is implemented at the local level, always keep that in mind!
If you want to hear more about Avià or directly get in touch with the Councilor for the Environment of the town, Josep Subirana, who will be delighted to tell you more, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.