Torcal Estates Fincas and Country property - Málaga, Spain

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News - January 2007

The new suntrap?

SPAIN is finally going to make use of the one natural resource that has inspired generations of Britons to buy homes on the Costas — the sun.

From October, a new building regulation will force all owners of new homes to fit solar panels. So using the sun’s rays, which beat down almost all year round, will generate the energy to heat homes. The reduction of heating bills could become a reality for villa-owning Britons.

All new buildings occupying more than 3,000 square metres will also be subject to what supporters hope will be the start of Spain’s solar revolution. The roofs of all shopping centres, supermarkets, warehouses, government buildings, hotels, hospitals and exhibition centres could soon sprout black solar panels.

The country’s technical building code, which has taken seven years to come into force, could revolutionise the use of solar energy in Spain. It should mean Spain catching up with more ecologically friendly neighbours such as Germany where, despite normally grey skies, one million square metres of solar panels are fitted yearly.

Until now, lack of awareness of the potential savings and fears about costs have stopped Spaniards and foreign homeowners like the British from fitting solar panels on a larger scale.

But a green-friendly Socialist Government in Madrid and more reliable technology could help Spain to achieve its goal of fitting five million panels by 2010 — roughly 400,000 a year.

The Times published this article in full at

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