Despite the fact that it is overloaded with sunlight and sitting on a solar version of Saudi Arabia’s oilfields, Spain’s relationship with this kind of energy has been tumultuous to say the least. Different governments have had different approaches, but after a long legal battle solar energy is back on track in Europe’s sunniest country.
With few exceptions, installing solar panels in your home has generally been an arduous and expensive task thanks to the endless legal documentation that the authorities demanded to be in place. Getting all this paperwork together was, needless to say, a long and complicated process paved with expensive technical studies, reports and guarantees of the kind not seen in more solar-friendly countries.
In fact, the rules and regulations Spain maintained in relation to solar energy were so at odds with common practice elsewhere in Europe that a lawsuit was filed that was fought out in the courts for several years – with the sun emerging victorious in the end. As a result, a new law has been passed that facilitates and encourages the conversion to this locally abundant and naturally renewable energy source.
A new beginning for solar energy in Spain
For homeowners, it means there will be far less red tape, time wastage and cost involved, making it possible to earn back your investment in new solar panels for your property within seven to eight years. With 320 sunny days per year in the much of the country and especially in Marbella and the southern ‘Costa del Sol’ region, it is an economical, convenient and highly effective form of energy that can provide for the whole house, make it independent and even allow you to go off grid altogether.
“Given this new positive beginning for solar energy in Spain, I expect it to really take off on the Costa del Sol now,” says Fabian Delle, founder of Move Project. “Within the next few years, we will see an exponential growth and it will become the norm for properties – new and existing – to be fitted with solar panels to take advantage of the abundant sunshine we enjoy in and around Marbella.”
New developments and large luxurious villas will lead the way as it’s a ‘no brainer’ choice for properties of this scale. Moreover, installing solar panels on your property now comes with a 20-25% discount on your annual IBI (local municipal rates). “In the case of a larger property this can mean a significant saving. For example, one of our clients is building a villa on the beach for which the annual IBI cost drops by €3,000 thanks to the installation of solar panels.”
The panels cost €20,000, but the combination of €3,000 per year IBI savings and low electricity bills means they pay themselves back within four to five years.