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Behind the Scenes in Barcelona's Innovative Solar Energy Program

Behind the Scenes in Barcelona's Innovative Solar Energy Program
TMB/Flickr

I’m not writing much this week, because I’m traveling, very glad to be away from U.S. 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:

Photo courtesy of Flickr user TMB.

This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog.

Kaid Benfield is special counsel for urban solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and author of several books on cities, smart growth and sprawl. All posts »

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