Each year the sun produces four thousand times more energy on Earth than we
consume. It's a clean, inexhaustible and free resource. Moreover, it's guaranteed
for the next 6,000 million years as scientists estimate that it has yet to reach
Jesus Lopez, the Director of Urbanism for Polaris
World, developer of 7 luxury, residential golf developments in the Murcia
region of Spain says: "The Sun is like a thermonuclear reactor that emits
energy in the form of light and heat. It would be irrational not to try and
take advantage of this source through all possible means."
Uses of solar power are numerous: hot water for domestic and industrial use,
heating, pool acclimatisation, solar-powered kitchens and so on. On the increase
in Spain is the development of solar orchards; groups of solar cells in a single
plot for the use of a group of individuals or businesses. This way, the cost
of installation, infrastructure, security and maintenance are considerably reduced.
Solar power could also be one of the best solutions for energy problems in
rural areas. No matter how isolated form the main electricity network, solar
panels allow energy to be generated anywhere.
The one great inconvenience of solar power is the cost of installation. The
key to cutting costs is to broaden the use of the energy generated beyond any
individual's consumption, and this is one of the Technical Construction Code's
main aims. From 2007, the code requires the installation of thermal collectors
for domestic hot water and solar cells for heating purposes in properties exceeding
3,000 square metres of built space.
These measures also provide a new challenge for architects to integrate the
solar facilities into the building design. "It's something we architects
have to study and, surely, will bring about new solutions to create new aesthetics",
asserts Jesus Lopez.
Despite Spain's position at the top of the European sunlight table, the development
of solar energy in the country is at the moment very limited. At 8.7 square
metres, the ratio of solar panel area to 1,000 inhabitants is well below the
European average of 19.7 square metres.
Polaris World though has become one of the main promoters of solar power development
in the Murcia region, where its 7 residential golf resorts are under construction
and it is also developing commercial and housing projects in the city itself.
Presently, Polaris World offers its clients the possibility of installing solar
panels for hot water or solar cells for energy production.
Facing the future, Lopez announces that his company are working on ambitious
project to implement solar power fields with solar cells to obtain electrical
energy. "The facilities will be large and position us ahead in the field
of renewable energies" he proclaims.