I3. Energy Efficiency

Energy is a strategic component of road operation and management (O&M) expenses, since it represents between 10% and 20% of routine maintenance expenses and is rising faster than inflation over time.

The three main energy related issues for an NRA are:

  • a) selecting and adopting the most appropriate energy reduction technologies from the large number available;
  • b) the need to reduce energy consumption to meet internationally agreed CO2 emission targets while maintaining safety, and
  • c) provide resilience against fluctuating and increasing energy costs. These aspects of the problem also relate to the dual possible roles of a road agency, both consumer and potential producer of energy via the production of energy from renewable sources (i.e. photovoltaic, wind, etc.) by installing plants on the roadside.

This Task has four key aims:

  • (i) to provide NRAs with a clear and updated view of the state of the art in the technologies aimed at reducing energy consumption in road operation and management;
  • (ii) to understand the potentials associated to the available technologies of energy production from renewal sources linked to the road asset;
  • (iii) to define a set of guidelines to assess, plan and carry on actions of energy efficiency in both aspects (consumption and production) of energy and (iv) to develop a decision support tool to compare the costs and benefits of different renewable energy technology.

Goals to be achieved

  • Identify the ways NRAs are able to reduce O&M costs associated to energy consumption, i.e. road and tunnel lighting and associated needs (ITS, etc.);
  • Define and analyse the mostly commonly used technologies for energy reduction and renewable energy generation;
  • Analyse the trade-off between road safety, roadworker safety, environmental impact, economics (payback, whole life costs, first year rate of return etc.) and reduction in  O&M costs (energy and maintenance costs) of different interventions;
  • Provide decision support tools to promote and support energy efficient technologies in road operations (primarily focused upon the lighting aspect of the issue and renewable energy generation);
  • Identify the possible role of NRAs in meeting the national goals on terms of energy efficiency defined by EC and how to implement the change needed to meet those goals.
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