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Portugal: Two New Incentive Schemes on the Horizon

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2016
Aviso 20Good news for the Portuguese market: This year’s agenda includes two new schemes to support energy efficiency measures in buildings, and solar thermal has been put into the spotlight. The first programme, Aviso 20 – Edifícios Eficientes 2016 (Efficient Buildings), has already been open to applications since 8 July 2016. Its budget of EUR 1.1 million covers up to 60 % of the cost of efficiency measures, including new solar water heater installations, in existing residential and commercial buildings. The second programme, Casa Eficiente (Efficient Home), is still under development, but the scheme’s much larger budget of EUR 100 million will offer low-interest loans for efficiency measures in the residential sector. Obviously, both programmes are not exclusively solar thermal ones; they also support window replacement or additional insulation. 
 

Portugal: Incentive Scheme Fails While Sales Take Another Dive

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2016
The latest Portuguese incentive scheme for solar thermal energy proved to be a major failure: Launched by the national Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) in May 2015, the call to support the restoration of solar thermal systems installed before 2005 received only four applications in the end. Additionally, 2015 market performance was still far from desirable, and the downward trend in sales continues. APISOLAR’s figures show a newly installed area of 46,134 m² (32 MWth), a 9 % decrease compared to the previous year.
 

Portugal: New Government with Good Intentions but Lack of Action

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 30, 2016
Solrico Portugal Market AssessmentAfter a politically unstable last quarter of 2015, Portugal’s path for the next years seems to be finally set. The new socialist government, led by António Costa, took office by the end of November and brought back the old promise of supporting renewable energy sources. At least, this is what the government programme shows, the intention to encourage solar thermal use. The industry looks slightly more optimistic into 2016. According to the ISOL Index survey carried out in September 2015, more than a third of the participating 13 solar thermal system suppliers in Portugal expect a growing market, while 39 % expect a stable one this year. 
Source: solrico

Portuguese 2020 target for solar thermal: Faraway, so close to deadline

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 14, 2015
SotecnisolIt’s just like in the Wim Wenders movie: Each year, the Portuguese goal for solar thermal energy seems more faraway, so close to the deadline. The country, which aims at a target of 2,214,282 million m² of installed area in 2020, saw a mere 1,080,317 m² set up until the end of 2014. In 2014, only 54,961 m² were added, 4 % less than in the previous year. This year, market stakeholders expect stagnation, although figures for the first six months pointed downward. An area of 21,852 m² was newly installed during the first half of 2015, which is a decrease of 18 % compared to the same period last year.
Photo: Sotecnisol / Apisolar
 

Portugal: Market Transformation in Time of Crisis

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 29, 2015
Portugal chartThe Portuguese solar thermal market seemed to have stabilised in 2014: The first estimates by the Portuguese national solar industry association, Apisolar, show that the collector area sold last year was at around the same level as in the year before. According to a press release from last November, the association assumes a maximum decline of 7 % in 2014, resulting in a newly installed collector area of around 53,000 m². This brings the market back to the level of 2007, the year after the national solar obligation had come into effect in July 2006, but before the national incentive programme Medida Solar Térmico was launched in March 2009. After the stop of the incentive programme in May 2010, the market declined at double-digit rates over three years.
Source: Apisolar
 

Portugal: “Good legislation, bad economy”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 28, 2014
ApisolarThe Portuguese solar thermal industry is still facing a difficult time: With 57,234 m² (30 MWth) of newly installed collector area, market volume in 2013 was down to the level of 2007, according to the annual statistics of Apisolar, the Portuguese national solar industry association (see the attached document). The blue bars show the annually installed collector area (left side) and collector capacity (right). The red cubes just illustrate the trend. “Good legislation, bad economy,” is how Apisolar’s Vice President Solar Thermal, Victor Júlio, describes the current situation. The economy is far from recovering, but there is a silver lining on the horizon: A new building legislation that came into force in December 2013 has made the installation of solar water heating systems mandatory for non-residential buildings. 
Source: Apisolar
 

Portugal: Solar Companies Struggle to Keep Business Running

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 1, 2013

The Portuguese solar thermal market has dropped significantly for the second year in a row. In 2012, the national solar industry association APISOLAR counted only 90,896 m2 of newly installed area, 29 % below the previous year, although the result was better than APISOLAR had predicted. In the 3rd quarter of 2012, the forecast had indicated a 45% drop in sales. Some attribute the smaller decline to an increase in energy prices in the Portuguese market. A new incentive programme for the residential sector with a EUR 1.5 million budget was launched at the end of 2012 and is expected to improve the situation in 2013. Applications are still being accepted, although companies and end-users may not submit one because of the bureaucratic hurdles that have to be overcome first.

Portugal: 45 % Drop in 2012

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 28, 2013

The Portuguese national solar industry association, APISOLAR, has just released the solar thermal statistics for the third quarter of 2012 and has once again reduced its forecast for the entire year. In September, the half-year result showed an estimated annual decrease of 35 % compared to 2011. Now, the association forecasts an even stronger drop in the market of 45 %.
Source: APISOLAR

Portugal: Small Residential Grant Scheme, but “Big” Requirements

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 18, 2012

Portugal has seen the launch of a new incentive scheme - Edifício Eficiente 2012 (Efficient Building 2012) - for installing solar thermal systems on existing residential buildings. Launched on 30 November, the programme has been equipped with a EUR 1 million budget for solar thermal by the national Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF). The incentive granted to applicants will cover 50% of the costs (including installation) up to EUR 1,500. The hard part: The homeowner, the installer and the system supplier all have to meet specific requirements.

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