Kaid Benfield Archive


How Barcelona is becoming a leader in solar energy

Kaid Benfield

Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:00AM

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  solar-powered, real-time transit information in Barcelona (courtesy of TMB)

I’m not writing much this week, because I’m traveling, very glad to be away from US presidential politics but concerned for all my colleagues and friends affected by the storm. 

I am quite fortunate to be in Barcelona, which is not only host to spectacular modernista architecture and the world’s best futbol team but also a city with considerable green ambition.  From clean redevelopment of brownfields to a sophisticated intermodal transit system to bike sharing to waste reduction and recycling, the city has strived to be innovative in implementing green practices.

It is in the field of solar energy, though, where this sunny city has made its greatest impact so far.  All new and significantly rehabbed buildings are obliged by law to install solar panels for the production of domestic hot water.  Sports arenas, hospitals, schools and any building that uses more than 2,000 liters of water per day have been required to retrofit their facilities to incorporate solar panels.  This video tells the story:


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  Please also visit NRDC’s sustainable communities video channels.