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Solar Thermal Bankable – yes or no?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 7, 2013

It is not easy at all to persuade third parties to finance large-scale ESCO (Energy Service Company) projects for solar thermal: The financial sector needs to become more aware of solar thermal technology and its related projects. This is the lesson that Austrian company S.O.L.I.D. learned after looking for investment partners for several months. In the first half of 2012, S.O.L.I.D joined a number of projects, in which the Austrian company takes over the role of the energy provider. The clients had already confirmed these projects, which are worth altogether EUR 10 million. So, S.O.L.I.D. asked Barry Durham, founder of Critical Mass Capital in Little Rock, Arkansas, to be its capital advisor. Durham contacted 17 European and US banks, four private investment funds and two investment bankers in the United States - without any success! In the meantime, some clients have already halted their project; for some of the others S.O.L.I.D. is still negotiating with banks. The photo shows a large process heat installation of S.O.L.I.D. at Gatorade, a subsidiary of US-American soft drink producer PepsiCo.
Photo: S.O.L.I.D.

Portugal launches Support Programme for Social Institutions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 28, 2010

The Portuguese government continues its support for the solar thermal sector with an incentive programme for non-profit entities and sports institutions. Announced this June (see link http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/1329), it was launched on 19 July and allows the submission of applications until 29 October. Projects selected in the north and middle of the country, as well as in the Alentejo region will receive funding of 70% of the investment costs, whereas the Lisbon area and the Algarve region are only eligible for a 50% subsidy. On 23 July, energy agency ADENE signed an agreement with several commercial banks to administer the funds: BPI, Millennium BCP, BES, Banco Popular, Santander Totta, BANIF, General Atlantic and Montepio Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

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