Protecting the environment in Arosa and Carezza
"Skiing and Environmental Protection" is the motto adopted by the areas of Carezza in Italy and Arosa in Switzerland, where an inter-regional EU project involving both countries began in the 2012/2013 winter season. Designated "Alpine Climate Ski Resorts", the project is supported by and partly financed by the European Union.
The project is designed to promote sustainability in environmental development and natural risk management, and aims at making the two skiing resorts more energy efficient and ecological. Measures to achieve these objectives include energy saving and the production of energy from renewable sources.
Carezza has been designated a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO. With an average of 8 hours of sun a day during the winter, it is the sunniest skiing area in the Alto Adige region. Along with Arosa, Carezza is committed to implementing pilot measures to improve its performance and take the lead in energy efficiency. Given the high average insolation of both areas, the "Alpine Climate Ski Resorts" project aims to promote the use of solar energy generated by photovoltaic technology. In particular, it intends to examine the energy savings that could be achieved in artificial snow production through the use of high efficiency snow guns to prepare pistes, and through the use of solar panels to generate photovoltaic energy for driving chair lifts.
Carezza already boasts the first energy carpets in the Alps. Skiers not only enjoy themselves skiing between one piste and the next but generate energy in the process. Skiers entering the Hubertus cable cars and getting on the Paolina chair lift tread on a special carpet that transforms their weight and movement into clean energy.
Arosa too has implemented measures designed to use available resources in a more environmentally sustainable manner. Energy saving solar panels have already been installed in preparation for the coming winter season. Arosa has been offering visitors zero environmental impact holidays since 2006. Visitors calculate their CO2 emissions by filling in a questionnaire and Arosa offsets them by supporting sustainable infrastructures.
TechnoAlpin supports Arosa and Carezza in their efforts and is committed to improving the efficiency of all its products.
Thanks to the design of advanced systems, pumping stations, snow guns and control units, over the years TechnoAlpin has succeeded in achieving regular improvements in energy efficiency.
The smart and fully automatic ATASSplus automatic control unit is essential for efficient snow production as it permits the continuous monitoring of water and energy consumption and prevents consumption exceeding the energy that is actually available.
TechnoAlpin is also committed to improving the efficiency of its snow guns to increase the volume of snow produced without any increase in consumption. TechnoAlpin has fitted its fan guns, for example, with Quadrijet ceramic insert nozzles to generate a uniform, optimised spray, and to produce a higher volume of snow from the same volume of water. TechnoAlpin has also regularly improved the performance of its guns by optimising the design of nozzles and nucleators.
"Our area has specialised in the production of ecological snow," Georg Eisath, president of Latemar-Carezza Srl, explains. "Our energy efficiency is definitely improving thanks to TechnoAlpin's intelligent snow production systems. This year we achieved energy savings of over 10% and we are confident we can do even better in future."
This year, Carezza is planning to equip its Laurin 1 cable cars with rooftop solar panels as well as information panels inside.
"ATASSplus has allowed us to control the energy consumption of our entire snow production system," Walter Tschanz, Arosa's piste manager told us. "This has enabled us to avoid needless energy wastage and cut our operating costs."
The "Alpine Climate Ski Resorts" project aims at turning Arosa and Carezza into two model areas for the sustainable use of raw materials and environmentally compatible technologies in skiing areas. It is also designed to raise local residents' and visitors' awareness of the need to save energy.