Possibility of Using Solar Energy for the Creation of Carbon Neutral Hotels in Mediterranean Countries
Energy and Environment Research
Mitigation of climate change requires the increased use of renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels in all sectors. Hotel buildings utilize large amounts of energy consuming mainly electricity while the use of renewable energy sources is rather limited. Solar energy is abundant in the Mediterranean basin and it is currently used for heat and electricity generation in many applications. Various solar energy technologies are mature, reliable and cost-effective. Use of solar thermal
... and solar photovoltaic energy combined with the use of high efficiency heat pumps, can cover all the energy needs for domestic hot water, space cooling and electricity in summer-operating hotels in the Mediterranean region. A summer-operating hotel located in Crete, Greece with a covered surface of 3000 m2 has a specific annual energy consumption of 150 KWh/m2. The capital cost of the required sustainable energy systems for covering all the annual energy requirements in the hotel including a solar thermal system with flat plate collectors, a solar photovoltaic system with crystalline-Si modulus and high efficiency heat pumps has been estimated at 95.7 €/m2 while the annual CO2 savings due to the use of benign energy systems in the hotel have been calculated at 68 kgCO2/m2. It is concluded that the use of solar energy technologies in summer-operating hotels in the Mediterranean region could cover all their energy requirements, while it is technically feasible, economically profitable and environmentally desirable.