ManagEnergy is a technical support initiative of the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme of the European Commission which aims to assist actors from the public sector and their advisers working on energy efficiency and renewable energy at the local and regional level.

Sustainable Energy Solutions in Barcelona - Spain

Type: GoodPractice

Case Study (45 KB PDF)
Imma Mayol i Beltran receives the ManagEnergy Local Energy Action Award 2007 from Alfonso González Finat In 2007, Barcelona won the ManagEnergy Local Energy Action Award for their committment to Sustainable Energy Solutions in Barcelona.

The Award was presented to Imma Mayol i Beltran, Vice-Mayor of Barcelona and President of Agència d'Energia de Barcelona, Spain during the plenary session of the ManagEnergy Annual Conference Award by Alfonso González Finat, Conference Chair [left].

Barcelona - Sustainable Energy City
Film created by the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign


The goals of Barcelona City Council's Plan for Energy Improvement in Barcelona (2002-2010) are to increase the use of renewable energy (especially solar energy), reduce the use of non-renewable energy sources and lower the emissions produced by energy consumption in order to meet Barcelona City Council's international protection commitments. This integrated plan includes a quantification of the energy used and emissions produced in the city and provide scope for municipal action to promote an environmentally sustainable city, reducing air pollution and the consumption of fossil fuels in the process. As part of its plan a Solar Thermal Ordinance has been introduced. The aim of the ordinance is to regulate, through local legislation, the implementation of low-temperature systems for collecting and using active solar energy for the production of hot water for buildings. New buildings and buildings undergoing major refurbishment are required to use solar energy to supply 60% of their running hot water requirements. Since its enforcement licenses for the installation of a total of 14,028 square meters of solar panels have been requested with annual savings of 11,222 Megawatt hours and a corresponding reduction in eCO2 emissions of 1,973 tonnes per year.


The strategies named promotion policies and demonstration projects have been present in the city for several years, with different examples such as the installation of solar systems in schools, sports centres (solar thermal installation in the Olympics Swimming Pool ) or in some other public buildings (solar photovoltaic installation in the Town Hall building).

Concerning legal instruments, Barcelona is the first European city to have a Solar thermal ordinance. According to this bylaw all new buildings and buildings undergoing major refurbishment are obligated to use solar energy to supply 60% of their running hot water requirements. This solar ordinance was approved by the Barcelona City Council in July 1999 and entered into force in August 2000. This new policy has brought Barcelona to multiply per more than 10 the surface of solar thermal square metres (licenses requested), moving from 1,1 sqm /1.000 inhabitants (in 2000) to 13 sqm/1.000 inhabitants [as of march 2004, the licenses requested for the installation of solar panels made up a total of: 19.543 sqm of solar panels (before: 1650 sqm)]. We are happy to see these results and specially to see that more than 20 Spanish cities are now "replicating" this initiative taking Barcelona as a model.

The Barcelona Energy Improvement Plan (PMEB), a 10 year plan adopted in 2002, and the Barcelona Energy Agency, are two major management instruments that ensure the commitment of the City to further promote these energy measures in a planned and structured manner. The Barcelona Energy Improvement Plan proposes a series of measures and 55 projects for local action up to the year 2010, these being centred on energy savings and in the use of renewable energies.

The municipal action promoting a sustainable energy city also works towards the integration of sustainable energy measures in urban developments, an example of this integration are thesustainable energy measures in the Forum Barcelona 2004 area. The major Sustainable Energy measures in the Forum 2004 area are the following:

  • Urban solar FV power station (10.700 sqm, 1,3 MWpic)
  • District heating & cooling system, and
  • Energy efficient buildings.