TGN Landscape of Energy

Carlos Sánchez Gutiérrez, Judit Llabrés


This research is base on the potential of the landscape of Tarragona area, concretely on the 640HA of petrochemical space, for improve the actual energetic system and return the urban space to the city. The main source of this research is Landscape and Energy’s book which one is based on the transition on our environment from fossil fuels to renewable energy and how to design a post-fossil landscape. Underscores that the energy transition above all is a cultural task that affects everyone.


Nowadays, the society consumes high levels of energy which, most of the time, come from fossil fuel. This type of energy increase the contamination and consequently the global warming. This is because the greenhouse effect occurs on account of the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere and the consequent accumulation of solar heat on the surface of the earth. That’s why the energy sources must change through the years.

The European Commission apply that the targets for 2030 are: reduce 40% of CO2 emissions, increase 27% of renewable energy and 27% of efficiency energy. Furthermore, it is established a four main routes to a more sustainable, competitive and secure energy system for 2050: energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear energy, and carbon capture and storage

The overall goal is to reduce the energy consumption but at the same time to increase the renewable energy production. Actual, the main renewable energies are wind energy, biomass, solar energy, geothermal and hydropower wave energy. It is important to know the potential of which one and install the most efficient for the site.

The way to transform the power source influence directly with the footprint so in the landscape. How Dirk Sigmond said in Landscape and Energy:

“Interaction between the use of energy and the use of space, between the production of energy and spatial design.”

The action is the landscape and energy is carried out through four strategies:

1) Exploit the existing potential

2) Creating a network ‘energy highways’

3) Establish local energy producing

4) Get an efficient system


The main cases of studied references are the third industrial revolution plan of Noord-Pas de Calais and the energetic interrelation between the Rotterdam’s port, city and greenhouses. In the both case, it is possible to recognise the four strategies explained before. Both are examples of the capacity to act in the territory and on the different flow’s energy.


After studying the territory we found a large amount of land that has little or any activity. This territory is a strategical area, surrounded by such a different places and urban episodes, so, we saw the opportunity to transform this landscape. Also, the great number of infrastructures and the limits of the plots are insurmountable.

So, after learning the flows of energy in this territory, we thought that a solar plant will be a good way of getting the profit of this lands. But also, an initial way of changing how this territory works.

After taking profit of the backup lands, which is the next step? We have a territory that strongly relies on an industry that is becoming obsolete. Working on countries where prime resources are abundant is getting more efficient. So, from the hypothesis of taking profit from this backup lands, making them a production facility for solar energy, we are studying other technologies, that can give a new production reason for this territory.

The critical aspect of nearly every industrial activity is the emission of CO2. Researchers have come up with a technology that can solve this problem; use this CO2 to produce methanol.

So, what makes special Camp of Tarragona for taking advantage of this technology? First of all, the important presence of petrochemical activities, from which this production can take advantage of. But also, this process requires H2 and taking the materials involved in the reaction to temperatures around 260 ºC. And this is where the last step makes Tarragona especially god to produce this. The thermical solar plants can provide both these temperatures and electrical energy for the synthesis of hydrogen, from a renewable source.

After this new scenario of leaving companies and a new technology to be applied, which opportunities appear to transform this territory?

First of all, we have great landowners that no longer need an important part of this territory, and we have a territory that can become a symbol of ecological transformation.

Every industry that usually produces CO2 can now work selling their emissions instead of paying for them if they get installed in Camp de Tarragona.

Also, these companies can be at an urban space, cause they do not generate pollution. So, this means that we can concentrate the urban and industrial growth around the actual national road N-340.

With most of the industries from between railways and roads out of this territory and the new activities concentrated on the road, we have space to recover this contaminated territory.

Recover the natural water courses, generate little wetlands to increase biodiversity, protect the connections between the different ecological spaces, and finally, plant a forest of pine trees (Aleppo pine).

By the transformation of the industry, we get zero emissions of CO2, but there is still so much in the atmosphere and more in this territory. In order to reduce the amount that is still present, this pine forest will absorb a noticeable part of it.

This pines are local trees, typical of the area, and can be cut down as another economic explotation of this landscape.


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