In this new series of articles, Monaco Tribune examines the various transitions that are happening in the Principality, in the digital, energy or transport fields and their impact on local users. Our third article looks at the energy question.

Nuclear, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric … Where does the energy for our lighting or heating come from? With its eco-responsible approach, the Principality is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular by buildings.

Less expensive, but extremely polluting, fossil fuels (coal, fuel oil and nuclear) are tending to disappear in the Principality. Fuel oil will be banned from 1 January next, and COP26, which Prince Albert II attended, asserted its commitment to moving away from coal.  That leaves nuclear, which is actually the second most used energy source by our readers, according to our survey.

First place appears to be held by hydroelectricity, a renewable source, as are solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and thalassothermal energy. These are cleaner, but more expensive sources of energy, in which the Principality intends to invest.

>> SEE ALSO: Thalassothermal loops, an ecological initiative that is making great strides

MoNa Residence, an example of an eco-responsible building

While it seems difficult to modify energy sources for existing buildings, some new constructions in the Principality are committed to a genuine ecological approach. This is the case for the MoNa Résidence, by the Michel Pastor group, where the first residents moved in last September.

Mona Résidence
© SAM du Parc/Groupe Michel Pastor

Designed to combine comfort with an ecological approach, this 23-storey building, equipped in particular with a private cinema, a “kids room” and a wellness area, produces its electricity and heating thanks to geothermal and solar energy. Serge Ginesy, Environment Manager at Michel Pastor Group explains: “We work with probes in the ground that are used to exchange heat or cold with the ground.”

A very efficient technology that is backed up by a system of active slabs on each floor, keeping the temperatures stable in the building throughout the year. The roof is also covered in solar panels, which work alongside the water heating system.

Residents are also encouraged to monitor their consumption. Each apartment is equipped with an energy management interface. The interface lets everyone manage and calculate their consumption, their energy class and their CO2 emissions. “The idea is to provide residents with the means to act,” emphasises Serge Ginesy.

The electrical appliances in the kitchens and laundry rooms are all energy class « A ». With sustainability in mind, the residents are also encouraged to sort their waste, including food waste, using 6 separative bins on each landing.

>> SEE ALSO: Over to you! Your top tips for reducing your waste in Monaco  

The issue of mobility was also addressed, since each bay in the garage can accommodate and power an electric car and bicycles can be stored there in large numbers. The design of the MoNa Residence is also certified “excellent” by BREEAM, which assesses the energy performance of buildings.

The planting used in the garden requires little water and, most importantly is suited to the Riviera climate. Birdhouses and insect hotels have even been installed to take care of the surrounding flora and fauna.