It is noticeable everywhere that we’re finally turning a corner towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly forms of development, construction and also production and consuming in general. A lot of ground has to be covered before we can pat ourselves on the back, but for now it is positive news that authorities, the public and businesses alike appear to be heading in this direction, not just abroad but also here in Spain.
This means using the resources locally available to us, and in this regard we’re blessed with a great deal of sunshine and therefore solar energy potential. The Costa del Sol is correctly named, as it averages no fewer than 320 sunny days, and over 2,900 hours of sunshine per year. It is southern Spain’s ‘oil field’ equivalent, but up to now this tremendous source of (free) energy has hardly been utilised, so it represents a huge growth field.
We’re on the cusp of a veritable revolution of new, more sustainable construction techniques and materials, involving prefabricated sections, shorter building times and also building sites that are less polluted and in compliance with ISO 9001 directives. It will also lead to comfortable homes insulated with eco-friendly materials, optimal energy efficiency ratings and low consumption, i.e. low heating and cooling bills.
New incentives for builders and homeowners
Solar energy plays a vital role in this, as it has the capacity to provide hot water, heating and potentially even electricity, and in a region as rich in it as this, solar architecture will begin to feature more and more in the designs of architects and property developers. The fact that this has hardly been the case in Marbella so far is hard to believe, but while the existing large and heavy solar panels are rather unsightly and unloved by architects and homeowners, new developments are on the way.
In addition to this, the regional Andalusian government is providing financial incentives to help encourage people to spend on solar panels now and save on energy bills later. Moreover, the government has forced energy companies to buy back any surplus energy produced this way, and in addition to saving money this way you also save 30-40% on energy bills and help to clean up the environment. It’s a win-win formula from which Andalucía in particular can greatly benefit.