Market for solar-derived hot water heats up in Brazil.

Friday, February 3, 2006

IPS, 1 February 2006 – Turning sunshine into electricity is still too costly for it to become widespread, but using it to heat water is a viable option that is expanding in many countries, and could make great strides in Brazil.

Two initiatives by environmentalists and interested companies are giving a boost to solar water heaters in Brazil.

In Sao Paulo, only a final decision by Mayor Jos?? Serra is needed for legislation to go into effect that would make installing solar water heaters obligatory in new buildings and those undergoing major reconstruction.

A draft law proposed five months ago by Vitae Civilis, a non-governmental organisation, and inspired by a measure adopted in Barcelona, Spain in 2000, has already been approved by the Sao Paulo municipal secretariat for the environment.

In Barcelona, the plan led to a ten-fold increase in the number of solar water heaters within three years, and has had repercussions throughout Spain, Delcio Rodrigues, an energy expert at Vitae Civilis, told IPS.

There is all the more reason for something similar to happen in Brazil, since Sao Paulo is the country’s biggest city, with a population of 11 million, and as the main economic centre, it has a great influence over the entire country of 185 million, he observed.

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Source: Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS) (link opens in a new window)