Monaco's Energy Transition

October 29, 2018

Prince Albert II of Monaco presents the White Paper on Monaco's Energy Transition

IMAGE: Transition Énergétique de l'Etat de Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is certainly not taking its environmental responsibilities lightly and has set itself a target of a 50% cut in GHG emissions (from 1990 levels) by the year 2030. Let's put that into perspective for a moment: that's more ambitious than the EU's 2030 Climate & Energy Framework and the ratified unconditional target of the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the country has also set itself the ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2050: thereby setting itself up to be one of the bellwethers of environmental success.


The Principality has identified three main sectors responsible for producing the highest amount of GHG emissions in Monaco (circa 90% of the country's total emissions): road transport, waste treatment and energy consumption in buildings.


There is a strong focus on encouraging more responsible behaviour amongst all walks of life in Monaco. The thinking behind it is that climate change is something which affects each and every one of us, and so efforts to mitigate its effects should be extended to everybody, with a view to creating new opportunities for all. Indeed, and to quote the Prince: " cannot succeed without the mobilisation of the whole Monegasque community."


To help support this all-important transition, in 2016 Prince Albert II founded the Mission for Energy Transition; a dedicated task force whose remit is to promote a greater share of renewables and an increase in energy efficiency measures.




Paving the way for solar: The solar road on Avenue des Papalins in Fontvieille

IMAGE: Transition Énergétique de l'Etat de Monaco

National Green Fund


The aim of the fund is to finance long-term climate action which will help secure a successful energy transition. All actions must undergo a strict and rigorous carbon report with a post-assessment of the results. Alongside this, training in energy efficiency, adoption of energy regulations for buildings and an increase of awareness amongst economic stakeholders and residents are all tools being used to further the sustainable development agenda.


Solar panels on proud display on a rooftop

IMAGE: Transition Énergétique de l'Etat de Monaco

Solar power


Monaco boasts one of the highest levels of solar irradiation in Europe, so it should come as no surprise that solar power ranks highly on the list of renewable energy measures to be deployed.


Local schools such as École du Parc and the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier are kitted out with solar PV panels, as are office and residential buildings, whilst the Grimaldi Forum and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel are about to deploy their own rooftop PV systems. Solar thermal is also enjoying a boost in popularity; helping to heat water supplies and swimming pools, without any dastardly emissions.


Heat pump systems in action

IMAGE: Transition Énergétique de l'Etat de Monaco

Seawater heat pumps


Monaco is one of the first countries in the world to develop this type of ocean thermal energy along its coastline. Heat or cold is extracted from the surrounding seawater to either heat up or cool down buildings, or to heat swimming pools.


The first seawater heat pump was installed in Monaco as far back as 1963 at the Rainier III Outdoor Swimming Stadium. Today there are over 80 pumps fully operational in Monaco, including at the Grimaldi Forum, the Oceanographic Museum, the Rainier III Auditorium and the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) buildings. Not one to rest on their laurels, plans are already well underway to develop more systems in the Condamine and Larvotto Districts.


Other renewables


The Tour Odéon, La Petite Afrique and Villa Engelin all incorporate geothermal technology via a ground source heat pump system. New types of cleantech are under constant review in Monaco. The country recognises that the only viable future is a renewable one, and so diligent efforts are being made to explore other possible forms of renewable energy generation, including wind and wave technology. One thing is for certain: renewable ambition is in abundance in Monaco.



In Monaco, recycling is a way of life


Monaco & recycling: the Cliiink initiative


At the crossroads between the Internet of things (IoT) and the collaborative economy; the Cliiink initiative is perhaps one of the most innovative waste management systems which we have ever come across. It was introduced to the Principality on the 19th June and it enables people to receive rewards for recycling their waste in the appropriate sorting container via a website, smartphone app or a contactless card. In a nutshell: each time you recycle your waste, you earn points which can then be used for goods and services or even given away to charity. Think of it as the perfect cross between your typical loyalty card and a sustainable awareness initiative!


Amongst Cliiink's many benefits are the ability to improve the efficiency of the waste sorting process, boost local trade, reduce CO2, help make the city cleaner, and last but not least generate revenue for the citizens of Monaco. The scheme has proved to be a resounding success and further proof, if at all needed, that the citizens of Monaco are embracing sustainability in all its incarnations.



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