Updated: Oct 23, 2022
A secondary school along with the resident’s association with the support of the Barcelona city council recently created a solar energy community with the capacity to grow – rooftop by rooftop – across large areas of the city. The solar panel installed on the roof of Quatre Cantons secondary school supplies power to the school and 30 houses in the surrounding area. Every house has 500W of free electricity at its disposal, equivalent to a 25% cut in their electricity bill.
Marike Charlier, the spokesperson for the residents’ association, says, “The idea was first proposed in 2019 and began to become a reality in discussions with the Quatre Cantons school.” César Ochoa, a maths teacher at the school who also sits on its sustainability committee, said “the school’s desire to cut energy consumption dovetailed with the residents’ plans and, in a first for an energy community of this nature, the council agreed to foot the €94,000 (£80,000) cost of installing solar panels on the school’s roof.”
Solar power went into decline in Spain under the previous conservative government after it imposed a “sunshine tax” on individual consumers or energy communities, which the big power companies claimed was unfair competition. The tax was scrapped under the current government and solar installation is soaring, accompanied by a move towards localized, rooftop installations.