Barcelona was a pioneering city in implementing measures to promote the installation of solar-energy systems; so, 1999 saw the approval of the Barcelona Solar Thermal Bye-law, compliance with which became mandatory as from August 2000.

The balance from all these years enabled the city to process over 100,000 m2 of surface area for capturing solar radiation and which can generate an annual power of 71,000 MWh. Close to 60 % of this surface area is found in housing blocks.

Under the terms of Title 8, on Solar Energy, of the Barcelona Environment Bye-law, published in the BOPB on 2 May 2011 it is compulsory to plan systems for harnessing solar energy to produce sanitary hot water and electricity in new or renovated buildings or buildings whose uses have undergone comprehensive changes.

Sector professionals who wish to process an installation project must provide evidence of compliance with heading 8 of Barcelona's environment by-law. Specifically, they must present documents on two occasions during their processing of the construction work project:

  • First, when applying for a major construction-work permit, where they must present a thermal solar or photovoltaic energy project or exemption report.
  • With the end-of-work notification, they must also present the end-of-work certificates for the solar-thermal or alternative installation and for the photovoltaic installation.

Application documents for the construction permit are presented as an appendix to the construction project, entitled “Solar energy supplement”, with the content indicated in the works guide, which is the result of a prior consultation.

Procedures initiated with the Barcelona Energy Agency before November 2019 may still be carried out using the GIOS web application (Integrated Solar By-law Manager) until April 2020, in the following cases:

  • Certificate applications for initiating procedures for obtaining the technical suitability report (IIT), where the preliminary consultation took place before November 2019.
  • Previously registered applications for project reports, with a construction-work file number.
  • In response to amendments of a construction-permit solar report.
  • Substantial modifications to a solar project (thermal or photovoltaic) that has already been submitted.
  • Presentation of end-of-work documents for validation by an inspection and control body, or an organisation collaborating with the administration.
  • Application for a first-occupancy solar report.

Voluntary solar installations will be processed as construction-work notifications.