The application of the Solar Thermal Ordinance (Ordenanza Solar Térmica or OST) has meant a notable increase in the solar thermal area in Barcelona, reaching 34,617 m2, according to the city's Mayor, Mr Joan Clos, and the third City Council Deputy and President of Barcelona's Energy Agency, Ms Imma Mayol.
Those 34,612 m2 of area are equivalent to 4.5 football pitches, according to Mr Clos. Taking into account Barcelona's population, it would yield a ration of 23.13 m2/1,000 people.
Mr Clos indicated that the energy produced by the collectors during a year (27,690 MWh) would be enough to cover the hot water needs of a 52,000 people town. The related energy savings have prevented the emission of 4,869 toe into the atmosphere. To absorb such amount of CO2 some 7.3 km2 of Mediterranean forest would be needed.
Ms Mayol indicated, besides, that the legislation has already affected some 14,000 new households, or around 44 of the newbuildings.
Since the OST was launched until December 2005 a total of 427 projects have been dealt with, representing 31,078 m2 of solar thermal collectors. The application of the OST means energy savings of around 24,863 MWh/year, or 4,372 toe.
Likewise, Mayol has reminded that the recent modifications of the legislation, which includes a new obligation to install solar thermal equipment in all new buildings or buildings going through a general refurbishing process, will allow to meet the goals set by Barcelona's Energy Improvement Plan (Plan de Mejora Energetica), which aims to reach 96,300 m2 of solar thermal collectors by 2010.