Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, is undertaking an innovative IoT project to address the critical challenge of energy poverty affecting 23% of its households. Damal Redes and Valencia’s Fundació Clima i Energia, leveraging the Helium Network’s LoRaWAN ecosystem, are gathering real-time data on air quality to support the city’s most vulnerable residents.
To do this, the initative has seen over 130 air quality sensors installed throughout Valencia. These sensors, crucial for monitoring environmental conditions within homes, measure dry temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels. This data plays a vital role in combating health issues related to energy poverty, such as respiratory diseases and mental disorders. The projects focusing on this – Wellbased and Ebento – are backed by the EU and address energy poverty and enhancing energy efficiency in buildings respectively.
Jose Antonio Hernández, IoT Technical Lead at Damal Redes, emphasised the efficacy of the Helium Network: “By leveraging the Helium Network, we’ve realised an astounding 98% success rate in installing sensors in low-income residences and construction sites. This allows us to continuously monitor CO2 levels, weather patterns, and other crucial data. No other technology can match this capability.”
This Helium network, one of the world’s largest people-powered IoT Network, is optimised for low-power devices and integrates seamlessly with LoRaWAN technology, enabling expansive IoT infrastructure.
Abhay Kumar, CEO of the Helium Foundation, highlighted the project’s significance in addressing global urban energy inequality: “We have the technology to address an equality issue that affects many of the world’s urban centers and deprives residents of fundamental energy needs,” said Kumar. “With Helium’s decentralised, peer-to-peer wireless network, we can gain insights that are impossible to access with a centralised system. It’s gratifying to work alongside Damal Redes and LoRa Alliance member companies to deploy on the Helium Network in Valencia, allowing for real-time environmental data that can result in meaningful change.”
Valencia’s dedication to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 aligns with this initiative. The collaboration with Damal Redes and Helium represents a significant step towards real-world change and forms a part of Valencia’s broader energy strategy.
The implementation in Valencia mirrors broader trends in IoT applications for sustainable urban development and energy management. For example, cellular IoT has been pivotal in enforcing green city initiatives like low emission zones, using technologies such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems. These systems, powered by cellular IoT, are crucial for real-time vehicle monitoring and enforcing environmental regulations.
Similarly, smart air monitoring solutions are becoming essential in combating global air pollution, as they provide real-time data for effective strategy planning and policy making. By identifying pollution sources and monitoring changes, these solutions empower authorities and citizens to make data-driven decisions for cleaner air.
In Greece, the transformation of Paros into Europe’s first ‘smart island’ showcases the versatility of IoT in urban mobility and sustainability. The introduction of a comprehensive LoRaWAN IoT network aids in monitoring various aspects of city life, from parking to water usage, exemplifying the potential of IoT in enhancing urban living.
Furthermore, the rollout of smart street lamps in the UK, which include electric vehicle charging and enhanced wireless coverage, highlights the diverse applicability of IoT in urban infrastructure. These multi-functional street columns are part of a £1.3 million pilot aiming to test next-generation digital technologies, demonstrating how IoT can revolutionise public services and infrastructure.
The Valencia project, set against these global examples, illustrates the growing importance of IoT in addressing urban challenges, particularly in energy management and sustainable city development. This initiative not only aims to alleviate energy poverty but also contributes to the broader narrative of smart, sustainable urban transformation powered by IoT technologies.