Carbon Neutral Campsites Due to Operational Energy Use in the Mediterranean Region: Are they Feasible?

  • John Vourdoubas Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Agrokipio, 73100, Chania, Crete, Greece
Keywords: Sustainable tourism, campsite, energy, carbon emissions, Mediterranean region, renewable energies

Abstract

Increase of energy efficiency and decrease of carbon emissions in the global tourism industry are necessary for the mitigation of climate change. Campsites, like other types of tourism accommodation, utilize mainly fossil fuels for covering their energy requirements. Use of renewable energy technologies for covering part or all of their energy needs is desirable since it would reduce their carbon footprint. Various renewable energy sources which are abundant in the Mediterranean region could be used for electricity, heat and cooling generation in campsites located in this area. These include solar energy, solid biomass, and wind energy combined with high efficiency heat pumps. Current advances in their technologies allow their commercial use in many daily applications since they are mature, reliable and cost-effective. Additionally, carbon emissions due to operational energy use in campsites could be offset with carbon sequestration from trees. Solar thermal energy combined with solar photovoltaic and heat pumps could cover all the operational energy use in campsites located in the Mediterranean region in a reliable and cost-effective way. It has been found that for a Mediterranean campsite hosting 150 guests, the total installation cost of a solar thermal system, a solar photovoltaic system and a high efficiency heat pump covering all its annual energy requirements is 122,884 €. It is concluded that there are no technical or economic barriers for reducing or even zeroing the carbon footprint due to energy use in campsites, allowing the increase of their sustainability and the promotion of eco-efficiency in the tourism industry.

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Published
2019-11-01
Section
Articles