All new Spanish buildings must go solar

Posted: 28 March 2006

New building regulations introduced by the Spanish government will give the country some of the most advanced solar legislation in the world.

The legislation will require, amongst other things, that all new domestic buildings cover 30-70 per cent of hot water needs using solar thermal, depending on location and quantity of hot water used. The obligation also applies to buildings undergoing serious renovation.

In addition to the solar thermal obligation, the new building codes will require that all commercial buildings over 4000 m2 be equipped with photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. Thanks to existing feed-in laws, PV is already growing quickly in Spain and this requirement looks set to increase its application even further.

President of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), Ole Pilgaard said: 'This is excellent news for the Spanish citizens and for all Europe. Today, planning new buildings without a simple solar thermal system is a really strange idea, as we know that oil and gas will become extremely scarse within the lifetime of new buildings. The new Spanish building codes will help the European construction sector to adapt sooner to the new reality.'

The new regulations will be introduced in March 2007, although the parts related to renewable energy and energy efficiency will come into force in October 2006. Municipal solar thermal obligations, such as those in Barcelona and Madrid, will continue to apply, provided they are stronger than the national legislation. - Source: Renewable Energy World,24th March, 2006.