Greenvolt advises government to invest in energy communities

 In Companies, News, Renewables

The CEO of Greenvolt, João Manso Neto, has called on the government to have the courage to change mentalities and invest in energy communities.

The former EDP Renewables executive made his suggestion after Greenvolt signed a partnership to install solar panels on the roof of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon as part of an energy strategy to increase the number of solar energy communities in the country.
The CEO’s hope is that the project will serve as an example and incentive for the government to promote the creation of more solar energy communities on other public buildings as an alternative to large scale photovoltaic projects that have sprung up all over the country.
Community solar or solar community is a term used to describe photovoltaic and renewable energy systems that are shared by many electricity customers, including homeowners, renters, businesses, nonprofit organisations, and others.
“It’s all a question of wanting to do it. We really believe in this type of project. Destroying forests is not the best thing to do”, he argued, adding that energy communities could represent up to 25% of electricity consumption by the end of the decade.
The new project at the academy comprises 110 photovoltaic solar panels that will have a total capacity of 60.5 kWp. Annually, this installation will be capable to generating 89.3 megawatts-hour (MWh) of energy from solar radiation.
According to Manso Neto works should begin next month and be completed in March with the expectation that the solar panels will begin producing energy at the end of the first quarter.
But it will not just be the academy that will benefit from the energy. Surrounding companies and private households, shops, offices, restaurants, bars and other entities within a 20km radius can also benefit from the surplus produced if they so desire.
To date the renewable energy company has helped set up over 100 energy communities up and down the country with a total capacity of 50 GW.
Manso Neto says the barrier is not a lack of money since renewables today do not need subsidies, nor is it a problem of legislation given that Portugal has one of the most advanced legal frameworks in this sector in Europe. “When it comes to self-consumption the problem is the capacity to take a decision.”