Top Ten Highlights of Cleantech in Madrid, Spain

Madrid is the magnificent capital city of Spain, a European country that resides along the Iberian Peninsula. It is thought of to be a major global leader within the clean technology industry, including the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental sustainability. While it is a capital of a major country in Western Europe, it is also considered to be one of the most influential cities along the continent. Madrid is always looking to be a European and global leader in clean technology. The city provides a number of avenues for the overall promotion of clean technology, including early adopters, exit markets, engineers, and research centers.

1 ) INNOV’ECO Madrid. INNOV’ECO Madrid is a quarterly meeting of decision makers and business professionals in the clean technology sector that is based off the model in Paris, France. Hundreds of professionals in the clean technology industry gather every few months to learn, discover, network, share, as well as co-develop new business opportunities throughout the cleantech sector. The INNOV’ECO initiative answers three primary directives – “The urgency to develop workable economic solutions at the local level in the face of rising global and non-negotiable climate, energy, and resource predicaments; the need to generate new wealth creation opportunities and stimulate the creation of local green collar jobs; [and]the need to fulfill the strategic aim of enhancing the attractiveness of French Regions and making it a breeding ground for the emergency of a sustainable green economy.”

2 ) Metro de Mardid saves ten percent on 2010 energy bill. IN 2010, the Metro de Madrid was able to reduce its energy bill by ten percent. Through its energy efficiency and energy saving policy, along with a power supply contract, it helped with the savings. A number of research and development projects were implemented to aid in the decrease of energy consumption. For example, there 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 the whole year.”

3 ) National Renewable Energy Center. The National Renewable Energy Center, or CENER for short, has offices in Madrid. CENER is a technology center that specializes in applied research and the overall development as well as promotion of renewable energy sources. It has been active since 2002 and performs research in six areas – wind energy, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic solar energy, biomass energy, energy in buildings, and renewable energy grid integration.

4 ) Petratherm signs deal for Madrid geothermal project. In 2009, Petratherm, a geothermal company based in Adelaide, created a partnership with the Spanish federal government as well as the Madrid regional government to advance an eight megawatt Madrid Geothermal District Heating project. It will be the very first application of geothermal district heating throughout the entire region.

5 ) Companies measure the underground geothermal energy in Madrid. Termoterra, IFTec GeoEnergia, and Sensus came together in 2010 to measure the geothermal energy located beneath the city of Madrid. The objective is to “Use the metro environment as a means of cooling and heating the platforms, offices, and commercial space of the Pacifico Metro station by installing a geothermal heat pump.” Madrid has been looking for a viable solution that would allow them to harness geothermal energy in order to provide a sustainable heat source during the winter months and cooling source during the summer months.

6 ) Madrid Wins the Green Good Design Award in 2010. Established in 1950, the Good Design Award is one of the oldest and most significant global awards that go to some of the best in design when it comes to environment and products. In 2010, the awards looked to recognize cities, organizations, governments, research centers, and individuals who are aiding in creating a more sustainable environment. Madrid has the second highest number of aligned trees around the world (exceeded only by Tokyo, Japan). Over eight percent of the grounds in Madrid are green areas.

7 ) Real Madrid City field sets a good environmental example. The Real Madrid soccer field sets a great eco-friendly example. The field is very big on recycling, for example – batteries, paper, glass, electronics, organic residue, and so on are all recycled rather than thrown out. There is a water purifier on site that recycles both rain and fecal water to then be used by the field’s sprinkler system. There is also 180 m2 of thermal solar energy panels, providing over 60 percent of all hot water used in the dressing rooms at the field.

8 ) Sustainable Ecopolis Plaza in Madrid becomes versatile public space. A newly completed public facility in Madrid looks to familiarize people with green design principles. Behind its yellow façade, there is a very efficient building that minimizes materials use through its highly sustainable design. It has been named an “open environmental classroom.” The building used 35 percent fewer materials than most building projects of the same size. The building is primarily a childcare center and recreation center. There are numerous windows that allow for natural light and air.

9 ) BP Solar builds mega cell plant in Madrid. In March of 2007, BP Solar made the announcement that it began construction of a mega cell plant in its European headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid. During Phase I of this expansion, BP Solar looked to expand its yearly cell capacity to 300 megawatts from 55 megawatts. It was fully operational by the summer of 2008.

10 ) ISOFOTON aims to increase CPV solar module efficiency by 35 percent. In September of 2011, ISOFOTON started to coordinate a new project called SigmaModulus. The goal of this project is to improve overall module conversion efficiency by 35 percent. It is going to be a three year project that will involve research centers at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (the Integrated Home Automation Center and the Solar Energy Institute), the Institute of Concentration PV Systems, and the Institute of Aerospace Engineering.

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at

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2 comments on “Top Ten Highlights of Cleantech in Madrid, Spain


Thanks so much for sharing this article! I’m studying in Madrid next semester and definitely want to learn more about this while I’m there!

When I walk around Madrid I see more and more of the streetside electric car rechargers (although never one being used).

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