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Electricity in the hands of communities?

This year, Portuguese law paved the way for energy transition. “Collective self-consumption” and “energy communities” have now become legally recognised concepts. Now, we must transfer these concepts from paper into reality, overcome bureaucracy and lead the way towards decentralised energy systems that are both eco-friendly and collectively managed.   The legislation governing this change is Decree-Law No. 162/2019. Here, you will find seven pages of legal text which replace previous laws regulating the self-consumption of renewable energy and pave the way for a more efficient, decentralised energy grid. Effective since 1 January, the legislation allows people to collectively manage their …

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The desirable future of solar energy in Portugal

As a researcher working on the governance of energy transitions in 2016, I was fascinated by the relatively slow growth of solar energy in Portugal despite the amazing potential. I crafted a research project to explore this with a focus on accountability relations, and successfully competed for a position at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation in Norway, where I feel fortunate to explore this and similar issues with some fantastic colleagues. Between 2017 and 2019, I have spent about five months in Portugal, studying the multi-sited and multi-scalar geographies of solar energy uptake, from the capital Lisbon to …

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ECO123 Tesla Testdrive

The Future Now.

There it is in front of the door, and it looks like a completely normal car. Could even be a BMW. You don’t feel the difference until you’re sitting in it. On the dashboard, I find a 17” touch screen. It’s the car’s nerve centre. Roberto explains how it works. The computer (or the NSA) controls the navigation system, the internet connection, the front and rear cameras, the built-in telephone, the media centre, energy consumption and all the other personal control functions which you have to adjust yourself before setting off. You can say that the car is a machine …

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Solar Impulse

To tell the story of SolarImpulse – the first solar aero plane project – we have to begin seven years ago in Switzerland. Here the idea was born. This summer the initiators and pilots André Borschberg and Bernard Piccard flew with it across the USA covering more than 5.600 km despite being confronted with heavy weather challenges. SolarImpulse, the first airplane ever to fly day and night on solar energy only, proved the reliability and efficiency of clean technologies and renewable energies. SolarImpulse took advantage of Switzerland’s long tradition of technological innovation, research and entrepreneurial excellence. Over the centuries this …

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Recipes out of the crisis

Innovation and investment are the spices in our economic soup. You will need the following ingredients: 38,887 daily returns of the tabloid Correio da Manhã, 27,804 copies of the weekly Sábado, 17,824 unsold copies of Expresso, 12,547 copies of Público and 16,118 unsold copies of the Diário de Notícias, 23,339 copies of the daily Jornal de Notícias, 16,050 returns of the sports paper O Jogo, 33,442 unsold copies of Record, 5,625 returns of Vida Económica, 10,574 copies of Visão – a total of over 250,000 copies of all daily papers and magazines in Portugal per day: A Bola, Caras, Cosmopolitan, …

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