Solar Obligation in Uruguay

In October 2009, both the Chamber of Senators and the Chamber of Representatives of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay approved a far-reaching solar thermal energy law (Nº 18.585), which lays down several steps to further extend the solar obligation stipulated in it, with each step coming into effect after a certain time span (see details in the following table).

At first, the obligation applies only to health care facilities, hotels and sports clubs. At a later stage, it will be extended to also cover all public buildings whose share of hot water in the building’s total energy demand is above 20%. Article 7 of the law also allows the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines to ask industrial or agro-industrial enterprises for a feasibility study on the use of solar thermal preheating systems in their newly constructed buildings.

Country   Uruguay
Name   Ley Nº 18.585Energίa Solar Térmica
Goal   Increasing the use of solar thermal energy Furthering research in solar thermal energy applications
Date when law came into effect   Approved on October 7 2009, regulations are expected to become effective as of June 2010
Target group   Hotels, hospitals and sport clubs, public buildings
Special requirements   The installation of solar thermal energy is progressing in the following steps:

After six months of promulgation of this law (from May 2010), building permits for health care facilities, hotels and sports clubs in which the planned hot water consumption is more than 20% of the total energy consumption shall only be authorized if the new structure includes the relevant pipes and works to facilitate the installation of solar water heaters at a later point in time.

After two years of promulgation of this law (from October 2011), building permits for buildings with the characteristics specified in the preceding article shall be authorized only when including solar thermal systems which cover at least 50 % of the hot water demand.

After five years of promulgation of this law (from October 2014), all those new public sector buildings in which the hot water demand is more than 20 % of the total energy consumption have to install a solar thermal system covering at least 50 % of the hot water demand.

The first two regulations mentioned above cover building permits for new structures, as well as for major renovations of already constructed ones. The last regulation applies only to newly constructed public sector buildings.  
Last review   April 2010
Further information   See attached law



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