Portugal: Solar Obligation since 2006

To increase the use of renewable energy sources is one of three goals in the Portuguese National Strategy for Energy. One instrument is a solar thermal obligation which entered into force in 2006. Its introduction has been prepared by a market stimulation programme.

In 2001, the government approved the E4-Programme – Energy Efficiency and Endogenous Energies. A set of measures followed. One was the programme “Solar Hot Water for Portugal” (AQSpP), an initiative of the Ministry of Economics and key actors in the Portuguese solar energy market. The programme was launched in 2002. Its goal was to achieve 1 million m2 of solar thermal collectors until 2010. This target has meanwhile been moved to the year 2015 as the market does not grow as fast as scheduled.

AQSpP included the following activities: to start a public-awareness-campaign, to establish a warranty period of six years and to introduce a certification process, furthermore providing subsidies of 20 – 40% of the investment costs through tax reduction, to reduce the value-added-tax (VAT) to 12% instead of 21% in 2007 and to create a monitoring programme.

When the Portuguese building regulations were revised in 2006, the government included an solar obligation to use solar panels for hot water production. Results of AQSpP became part of the legislation.

This article was written by Ina Röpcke, a German journalist and solar thermal expert .









Thermal Performance Building Code (RCCTE)

(Decreto-Lei n.º 80/2006. DR67 SÉRIE I-A de 2006-04-04)



To impose the use of solar thermal collectors for hot water production in case of favourable exposure conditions.


The use of solar thermal collectors is mandatory if the roof or cover runs between south-east and south-west without significant obstructions. Per capita 1 m² has to be installed.

Date when law passed


Published in “Diãrio da República

on 4 April 2006

Date when law came into effect

July 2006

Target group


New and renovated buildings

(domestic and services)

Special requirements


  • The products have to be certified according to European standards (EN12975)

  • Performance calculations have to be carried out with a programme developed by INETI (Solterm programme)

  • The installers of the systems must be certified installers

  • The solar system must have a six year guarantee



The total amount can be reduced if roof space is problematic. It can be reduced to 50% if space is needed for other important usages of the building.  

Last review

December 2008

Further information


Ministery of Economy:



ADENE – Energy Agency:




ADENE – Agência para a Energia
Rua Dr. António Loureiro Borges,

nº 5 - 6º andar Arquiparque - Miraflores
1495-131 ALGÉS
Phone +351 / 214 722 800

Fax +351 / 214 722 898



By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Find out more by following this link. Accept