In 2015, all member countries of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 goals that contribute to peace and prosperity for people and planet.
Goal number 7 - Clean and Accessible Energy - ensures a focus on access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy sources for all people.
Helexia, through investments in energy transition projects has contributed to make more companies decarbonize and become more competitive by reducing their energy bills, leading the economy towards a more sustainable development.
Helexia projects that make use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies have multiple positive impacts for the environment and people, by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and consequently, improving public health by improving air quality.
These projects are typically installed in industrial or urban areas, without impacts to the natural landscape or biodiversity, minimizing the impacts of these technologies on people's lives and their relations with places.
The indicators used by Helexia in the communication of energy transition projects serve the purpose of informing our stakeholders about the technical, economic and environmental contributions of each project, be it photovoltaic energy production or energy saving.
Taking into account the diversity of our stakeholders, we work, in addition to technical indicators, with environmental indicators, with a more informal character, and that can be more easily interpreted by an audience without educational or professional knowledge in the areas of environment, energy, forestry and others.
In order to make clear and transparent the information regarding Helexia indicators for the energy transition projects in which we invest, we disclose the methodology and calculations used.
Total Power of the Installed Photovoltaic Power Plant (kWp)
The power of the installed photovoltaic power plant is presented as kilowatt-peak (kWp). This indicator is related to the total power of the set of installed photovoltaic panels that make up the plant. If a PV plant has a set of 3000 panels installed with a power of 330 watts each, the total power of the plant will be 990kWp.
E.g.: Total Power = No. of panels installed X Power (W) of each panel
Estimated Annual Production of the Photovoltaic Plant (MWh)
The annual energy production by a photovoltaic power plant is presented in the measure of megawatt-hours (MWh).
This indicator is related to the plant's total power (kWp) and Yield - a performance measure based on different factors, such as:
Average annual solar irradiation of the last 10 years
Geographical area of the solar plant
Inclination and orientation of the solar panels
Characteristics of the solar panels and other equipment of the photovoltaic plant
E.g.: Annual Energy Production = Yield X Power of the plant (kWp)
The carbon dioxide (CO2) avoided in Helexia's solar projects is calculated through the production of clean energy by a solar photovoltaic plant. In this way, when a plant produces solar energy and that electrical energy is consumed in a building, it means that the building will not use other energy sources, such as fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases (GHG) harmful to the atmosphere, including CO2. As described in Order 17313/2008, it is considered that for every kWh of electricity consumed, 0.47 kg of CO2 is emitted.
E.g.: CO2 avoided = Energy Production (kWh) X 0.47
Units of Trees Planted (Equivalent)
Planting trees in our forests has a very positive impact on the environment by contributing to biodiversity, oxygen production, and carbon capture. Trees naturally absorb considerable amounts of carbon dioxide throughout their life. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy (1998) cited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an average 10-year-old coniferous tree in an urban area subject to specific conditions of sowing, planting and transplanting, absorbs about 39 kg of carbon. In our calculation, we divide the tons of CO2 avoided in a photovoltaic project by the average amount of carbon captured by a tree (39Kg) to find the equivalent number of trees planted.
E.g.: Unit of trees planted = CO2 avoided / 39
Annual energy consumption by X households (equivalent)
We calculated the energy consumption per dwelling/family based on the average annual electricity consumption per dwelling in France in the year 2018 (≈ 5350 kWh/year). By default, and given the fluctuation of energy consumption annually, we stipulate as average consumption per dwelling 5000 kWh/year. Electricity consumption in the household sector in France is higher than consumption in Portugal (≈ 3300 kWh/year) and than the average consumption in the European Union (≈3700 kWh/year).
By monitoring the annual energy production of Helexia's photovoltaic plants, we are able to identify the equivalent number of families that could benefit from the clean, renewable energy produced by our plants in their homes. In projects such as the Montalva/Izidoro Group, the clean energy produced annually by the installed photovoltaic plants has the potential to supply electric power to entire parishes with about 3000 inhabitants, as is the case of Castro Marim, Sobral de Monte Agraço or Benfica do Ribatejo, for example (AEDRL, 2013).
E.g.: Annual energy consumption by X households = Annual energy production (kWh) / 5000
CO2 - carbon dioxide
GHG - greenhouse gases
MWh | kWh - megawatt-hour | kilowatt-hour - unit of energy
MWp | kWp - megawatt-peak | kilowatt-peak - maximum installed photovoltaic power
W - watt - unit of power
Yield - performance measure