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Climatização

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: 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.

Portugal: 28% of Lisbon Buildings with Perfect Solar Thermal Energy Conditions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 29, 2012

Thanks to a new online tool, Lisbon’s inhabitants are now able to determine the solar potential of their buildings’ rooftops. Lisbon’s so-called “Solar Potential Map” (Carta do Potencial Solar do Concelho de Lisboa) has been launched recently by the municipality’s energy agency, Lisboa E-Nova. The tool, which is free of charge, uses Google Maps to identify areas in which solar thermal systems can be installed. The calculation factors in the orientation and angle of the roof, shading, as well as other obstacles. All in all, 28% of Lisbon’s rooftops show an optimal orientation for the use of solar thermal energy.
Figure: Lisboa E-Nova

Brazil: Solar Water Heater Case Studies in Multi-family Housing

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 22, 2012

 Multi-family buildings in Brazil In cooperation with engineering office SE-Studio Equinócio, the International Copper Association (ICA) Latin America has released a publication which highlights the use of solar heating in large residential buildings. Three installations that have been monitored for several years show the economic, environmental and operational results of solar hot water use. The main conclusion: Solar heating reduces gas consumption by between 30% and 50% and pays back in less than four years (see the attached PDF in Portuguese).
Photo: ICA

Portugal: Last Quarter Exceeds Expectations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 16, 2012

 Portuguese quarterly market 2011
In the last quarter of 2011, the Portuguese solar thermal market has seen a sudden spike in sales, allowing the newly installed collector area per year to surpass 125,000 m² (88 MWth). The surprising development seems to be a result of two tax changes that have taken place at the beginning of this year: Since January 2012, the VAT rate of all renewable energy equipment has been increased by an additional 10%. At the same time, energy prices of fossil fuels have risen as well, because electricity and natural gas have been charged with a VAT rate of 23% since the beginning of this year.
Source: Apisolar

Portugal: Full Architectural Integration of Solar Thermal Technology

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 22, 2012

 Sunaitec Solar Thermal SystemThe architectural integration of solar thermal collectors has long been a concern to the industry. Portuguese company Sunaitec has now patented a new solution for the residential sector. According to General Manager Amílcar Lopes, 25 systems with the so-called ‘Multifunction Solar Structures’ have already been installed in Portugal. A first installation is also planned in Brazil. Sunaitec has been showcasing the multi-purpose solar thermal systems on several international events, including the Expo 2010 Shanghai and the GreenSolutions 2011 in Mexico.
Photo: Sunaitec

Brazil: New Requirements for Solar Installations on Social Housing

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 23, 2011

 My Home My Life programmeThe Brazilian social housing programme 'My Home My Life' has now entered its second phase (2011/2014). Despite new rules, installing a solar water heater remains mandatory for all single-family houses whose owners have a wage lower than Brazilian Real (BRL) 1,600. The sector had to wait until 27 September for the government-owned bank CAIXA to release the technical requirements for solar thermal systems. Now, the new projects are ready to begin. Each solar water system, including installation, is subsidised with up to 2,000 BRL/residential unit. For newly built multi-family houses, the low-income solar system is optional.
Source: EPA

Portugal: Huge Solar Potential in Lisbon’s Historical Downtown

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 15, 2011

 Arco da Rua Augusta The historical downtown area of the Portuguese capital, known as Baixa Pombalina, has a collector area potential of 100,000 m2. This is the result of the study “Carta do Potencial de Integração de Sistemas Solares na Baixa Pombalina”, which was developed within European project ProSTO - Best Practice Implementation of Solar Thermal Obligations - coordinated by Lisbon’s Municipal Energy and Environment Agency, Lisboa E-Nova, in cooperation with the city council and IGESPAR (Portuguese Institute for the Management of Architectural and Archaeological Heritage). The photo shows the Arco da Rua Augusta – the entrance to Baixa Pombalina.
Photo: Wikipedia

Portugal: Increase in VAT Rate in 2012

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 23, 2011

 Installed Collector Area in PortugalApisolar, the Portuguese national solar association, expects a 30% decrease in newly installed collector area this year. The forecast until the end of 2011 is 127,000 m2 (89 MW), whereas around 180,000 m2 of collector area were newly installed in 2010. This year's low demand has partly been a result of the changes in the national support policy. And, some more major changes in the country’s fiscal policy are coming into effect at the beginning of 2012 - which means the downward trend is not likely to be stopped next year, too.
Source: Apisolar

Portugal: Market Players facing Serious Problems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 8, 2011

Two months after the new government came to power, its strategy for solar energy still remains a mystery: The new subsidy programme barely mentions renewable energies, but focuses on energy efficiency instead. Last year's two subsidy schemes for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as Private Social Solidarity Institutions (IPSS) and sports facilities have also stopped. And, the tax rebates of roughly EUR 800 for residential clients who purchase renewable energies equipment have no longer been in place since an agreement of the government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At present, buyers of solar water heaters can only declare a limited amount as a tax benefit, which means a much smaller savings effect.

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