Spanish Property Goes Eco-Friendly
September 25th, 2006
New laws and latest statistics show Spain is getting even greener. The most recent bulletin from Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (National Statistics Institute) shows that Spain is above the European average when it comes to the percentage of power consumed nationally that comes from renewable sources. The most recent Europe-wide data dates from 2004, when 14.2% of the power used by the 27 nations in or about to join the EU came from renewable sources. At that point Spain was getting 18.5% of its power from renewable sources.
Those figures are old, however. In late 2006 a law was passed requiring new or newly renovated buildings to have solar power systems – hot water systems for residences and electrical generators for businesses. The law also made use of insulation and maximisation of natural light mandatory.
Businesses are already embracing renewable power. Europe’s first commercial solar power station is up and running in Seville, and this June it was announced that telecoms firm Telefonica’s Madrid office was about to become Europe’s largest solar-power-generating office, with 16,000 solar panels generating about 3.6 gigawatt hours of electricity each year. Navarre, with no coal or oil reserves of its own, has been leading the Spanish charge since the late 1980s. At present nearly 70% of the province’s energy is from green sources, and officials plan to be using 100% renewable-sourced energy by 2010.
Spain has a wealth of eco-friendly homes on offer, from the cave homes of Granada, whose thick rock walls keep them warm in winter and cool in summer with no need for heating or air conditioning, to modern developments where water is recycled to use on communal gardens and golf courses. Often rural properties, far from mains supplies of water and electricity, can be the greenest, with owners using water deposits or wells plus solar power. When you’re looking for your property, try to find a ‘green’ one – it’ll reduce your bills in the long run, and you’ll know you’re helping preserve the country’s beauty.