In Spain spatial planning and energy have never been treated together because energy has always depended on private sector without connection to urban planning.
In the last years, the government has developed building rehabilitation policies with special influence in energy saving through economic aids and a new regulation with the requirement for solar panels to be fitted to new public buildings and dwellings to generate electricity for self-consumption, mainly hot water and heating.
However, these actions have not linked to urban planning which also needs to be adapted to new necessities. Keeping specific plots (areas) for energetic systems such as solar thermal or cogeneration plants, which means new urban land uses that allow new forms of urban energy production, developing new instruments like energy urban plans or establishing a regulation of solar plates in roofs should be taken into account.
Moreover, our main urban planning instrument, the general urban plan, has several limitations related to energy planning, the absence of alternative energies treatment or the lack of connection between planning and energy saving which is promoted through rehabilitation to improve the overall energy efficiency of the housing.
Therefore, the purpose of this paper is firstly to study these problems and later some pilot experience that has recently been presented to show how planning can help to deliver sustainable energy solutions considering the design (planning), cogeneration system (energy) and the finance (economy).
Beatriz Santos Sánchez