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Metro de Madrid saved almost 10% on its energy bill in 2010

Travelling by Metro instead of by car means emitting four times less CO2. The Company’s energy efficiency policies have made a decisive contribution to this saving. Energy expenditure dropped from €74.4 million in 2009 to €67.6 million in 2010

In 2010 Metro de Madrid reduced its energy bill by almost 10%, dropping from an expenditure of €74,443,803 in 2009 to €67,626,111.84 last year. The Company’s energy-saving and efficiency policy, as well as the award of the power supply contract carried out by means of the electronic bidding procedure, proved decisive in achieving this saving.

The energy saving and efficiency policies introduced by Metro de Madrid comprise the implementation of numerous R&D projects aimed at reducing energy consumption. Prominent amongst these was the utilization of the braking force for starting trains, which means that Metro saves an amount of energy equivalent to the total consumption of Line 2 throughout a whole year. These trains are characterized by incorporating automatic systems that adjust their speed electronically, which enable the energy generated when braking to be fed back into the system.

In addition, Metro de Madrid has carried out ongoing improvement to its facilities and everyday operating systems with a view to optimizing energy efficiency. Such significant innovations as the harnessing of sunlight for illuminating accesses during a considerable part of the day and the installation of glazing at metro entrances that enables light to penetrate into the system have brought about a reduction in the emission of CO2. Photoelectric cells also detect the level of luminance needed to regulate the system for switching the lighting on and off. All the luminaires are latest generation, which assures a longer life and lower energy consumption.

Escalator operation has also been automated by equipping them with a device that slows down their running speed when they are not in use by any passenger, which results in increased efficiency.

Expansion also counts

The enlargement that the Metro de Madrid system has undergone in the last few years is another of the great energy-saving landmarks in the Community of Madrid, through saving the streets of the region from having to withstand the traffic of 385.000 cars additional to the existing daily numbers, which represents a considerable saving in the emission of over 2 million tons of CO2 to the atmosphere in relation to what would have taken place if the public had had to make their journeys by car instead of by Underground.

The new extensions of the system have absorbed an increase of 7.7% of surface vehicle traffic, or what amounts to the same, the enlargement of the Underground has absorbed a demand for mobility equivalent to almost 9,100 million kilometres travelled by private surface vehicles.

Lower water consumption too

To minimize water consumption, the train and station cleaning system has been changed too, with a consequent significant saving. Of the eight washing tunnels currently in operation, six are equipped with recyclers that enable up to 80% of the water consumed to be recovered.

Thanks to these technological advances, amongst all those on which Metro de Madrid is working, the emissions of greenhouse gases that have an impact on global warning and climate change have been successfully reduced to a considerable extent, forming part of the efforts being made by Spain to comply with the limits laid down in the Kyoto Protocol.

In this way, rail transport has very low emissions per passenger carried. Through carrying a large number of people, Metro achieves energy consumption levels and, therefore, emissions per passenger-km significantly lower than the private vehicle. In fact, thanks to the above-described measures and adding the fact of carrying a large number of passengers, CO2 emissions in peak periods are successfully reduced to less than 40gr/v-km.

By way of example, the energy expenditure when travelling on this means of public transport –with a capacity of 218 passengers- represents only 6.5% of the energy that would be consumed by the 174 cars needed to carry the same number of people. Travelling on the Underground instead of by car represents emitting four times less CO2.

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