Saturday, July 22, 2017
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Economy

Pisciculture meets Horticulture

A première in Portugal: a closed water and nutrient cycle; the production of strawberries and lettuce, pumpkins and tomatoes (and much more) and freshwater fish all year round. One supports the other, the fish support the growing of vegetables with their natural fertiliser, and the vegetables support the fish with treated, reusable water. The water circulates from one tank to the next and is pumped back again, all day long, 24 hours a day, by solar-powered pumps. This is known as aquaponics, and this form of organic, urban agriculture is advocated and financially supported by the EU. On a drawing …

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ResponsAbility Investment AG

The World of Microcredits This company has its headquarters in Zurich and Geneva, and branches in France, India, Kenya, Peru, Norway, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Thailand. It specialises in microfinance in the following five areas: finance, agriculture, renewable energy, health and education. In agriculture, for example, it strengthens cooperatives and farming that operates sustainably, in finance it supports microfinance banks; in the field of energy, it finances domestic solar power systems for low earners; in health and education, it supports networking and improvements in the IT field. Its involvements are long-term and worldwide: for example in Central and South America …

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UROBORO makes itself useful

Good news from the Higher School of Art and Design in Caldas da Rainha – IP Leiria  Uroboro* is a completed research project that has led to an everyday product which also has the objective of promoting environmental education in the home. It is an invention for cutting the disposal chain of biodegradable waste in urban areas and for finding individual solutions. Its inventor, Marco Balsinha (32), shows that is possible to avoid up to 30 percent of biodegradable waste with earthworm composting. Using his worm composter, the outcome of his final Master’s project at the Higher School of Art …

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Mirror research in the solar village of Tamera

Green investment in Portugal Lightweight membrane optics is a pioneering discipline in the generation of solar energy. Who would imagine that high-tech devices for industrial use were being developed in a remote workshop in the Alentejo? In September 2014, the solar village of Tamera received 100,000 dollars from an Indian client to take this development a step further. The technique builds on the principle of the fixed-focus mirror, as used in Tamera for cooking with the Scheffler mirror. But the latter does not need to be high precision to reach a temperature of 200°. The developer Dr. Douglas Baillie says: …

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ABO Invest AG – low-risk, safe portfolio

The German company ABO Invest AG operates plants across Europe for the climate-friendly production of electricity and heat. The main focus is on wind power. At present, the company owns 62 wind energy plants in France (28), Germany (18), Ireland (14) and Finland (2).  The current generating capacity is 132 megawatts. Thanks to continual revenue, the value of the company is growing steadily. The goal is to increase its value by around seven percent a year. The transparent presentation of economic conditions is contributing to the fact that the share price is rising in a similar manner on the stock …

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Free, clean and green: a positive form of energy

As you are reading this sentence, the first clients of the Coopérnico cooperative will be receiving their first bills for green energy. Present in the liberalised Portuguese energy market since 22nd June, this social economy company also provides anyone interested with the opportunity to invest in renewable energy. Find out how. It is one of the 56 organisations recognised by the Directorate-General of Energy as being able to trade in electricity, but it is not yet registered as a supplier with the ERSE (the Regulatory Body for Energy Services), whose website lists all the companies that can supply the market …

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Investments in a new ECO system

The prices for paper raw material from eucalyptus are falling. Last month, woodcutters in Portugal were working day after day to chop down as much eucalyptus as possible to be paid the old price of between 38 and 40 euros per tonne by Portucel/Soporcel. Now the prices are below 30 euros per tonne and there are far too many eucalyptus forests in the country. What will happen to them now? There is a lot of supply, but demand is low. This is good for the paper producer Portucel/Soporcel, but bad for the forest and land owners who are geared toward …

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Is Ethical Banking possible in Portugal?

The developments and events thus far known about the collapse of BES and the Espírito Santo group, across various ramifications, are anything but reassuring. The entire range of situations that are coming into the public domain make it ever more pertinent to discover initiatives that take a different approach to banking activities and also in Portugal. To this end, ECO123 interviewed Tito Damião, Executive Director of ACAF – the Association of Self Financed Communities, which has engaged in a range of initiatives designed to foster the conditions for the emergence of Ethical Banking in Portugal. ECO123: Before we get into …

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Tourism, Economics and the Environment

According to numbers published by the World Tourism Organisation and covering international travel across the planet, 2013 sawged a total of 1.087 billion arrivals. The specialists expect these numbers to top 1.4 billion in 2020 and 1.8 billion in 20301. With the plane providing the most common means of transport, the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere is not only astronomical but also highly negative for the environment. According to quarterly statistical bulletin numbers 17, 18, 19 and 20 of INAC2 (the Portuguese Institute of Civil Aviation), the country’s mainland airports registered 245,079 plane movements in 2013 with …

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Resilience. Sustainability. A Good Life.

Pesca e turismo

People who are addicted to drugs are mostly in a bad way. They actually need some therapy to get off the poison. But not every addict takes the decision to detox and then have therapy: not with heroin, nor with alcohol and even less so with smoking, whatever it is that is being smoked. Many people maintain their dependencies and live well, or so they say. It’s similar in our economy. It has settled into dependency. Our economy is addicted to subsidies, especially in one business sector. In tourism, all the poison is injected by Brussels and Lisbon. This time, …

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