Final agreement: André Eckermann (left), Programme Director of the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), and Victor Manuel Borrás Setién, head of Infonavit, shook hands during the official launch of the 25,000 solar roof programme in Mexico in the middle of June. The programme is financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
The cooperation between Mexican mortgage bank Infonavit and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) was the main topic of a conference with around 150 participants from the press, solar industry, politics and the building sector. The project is thought to provide an average grant of Mexican Pesos (MXN) 1,700 (EUR 100) to 25,000 families over the next two years. For more information, see the database of incentive programmes.
The subsidy scheme was already announced last September and should have started in January 2010 (see news from 1 October 2009). Due to certain delays, the programme was not implemented before July 2010 and the first grants have just been paid out.
Responsible for running the programme is Infonavit, a Mexican finance institution, whose primary business is to offer loans to workers with lower incomes, enabling them to pay for the construction of their houses. It is exactly this group, which is currently building the most residential homes in Mexico. The majority of these buildings, however, still do not include a solar water heater, as can be observed in the new residential housing district in Héroes de Tecámac, about two hours away from Mexico City. 7,500 new one-family houses were built over the last years and only 5 % of them have a solar water heater on their roof. Because there has been no financial support, solar water heater costs of about MXN 8,500 (EUR 500) would have been added to the credit on the house. The GTZ grant of up to 25 % of the investment costs for a solar system is expected to stimulate the solar water heater market. The programme will run until June 2012.
Film about the solar thermal sector in Mexico: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,13286,00.html).
Both Infonavit and the GTZ have set up their first project homepages, which you can find by clicking on the following links:
Information about the incentive programme for builders (in Spanish) http://tinyurl.com/25000-Techos-Solares-Oferentes
Information about the incentive programme for home owners (in Spanish http://tinyurl.com/25000-Techos-Solares-Trabajado
General information about the GTZ programme (in English) http://www.gtz.de/en/weltweit/lateinamerika-karibik/mexiko/27815.htm