The Business Year

Portugal has abundant energy resources including wind, solar, and wave energy, and there are myriad opportunities for companies to offer their products and services in this growing arena.

Ana Brito Melo

Senior Advisor, WavEC Offshore Renewables

Our main activity is related to R&D projects funded by the European Commission. Our focus continues to be offshore wind energy and wave energy, but also activities related to offshore aquaculture, which is progressing. We currently have one project called BlueForests, which aims to rebuild marine forests in Portugal. It is an innovative project that is funded by EEA grants with a number of Portuguese partners and one Norwegian partner, SINTEF. WavEC is bringing to this project its knowledge of technology, instrumentation, and environmental impact studies. We integrate the knowledge from universities by connecting the academic sector with the business sector, and we are able to deliver specialized services to diversified clients. We now have a strong focus on offshore wind because there will be significant developments in Portugal in the coming years, and we have extensive knowledge in this area to contribute to the growth of this sector. We have been working with other partners in the last years in terms of market studies, site selection, environmental impacts assessment, O&M strategies, instrumentation and data analysis, and technical field work, so we have the knowledge to assist all companies that come to Portugal to develop their offshore energy business.

Filipe Vasconcelos

Managing Partner, S317 Consulting

We are a management consulting boutique that specializes in energy, water, and sustainability. We are strong in everything related to the energy transition, namely the water and water services sectors; addressing the needs of mostly the developing world; and sustainability in terms of finance, carbon instruments, and de-carbonization. These are the three main areas that we work in. We have an integrated approach and do not only look at the energy component, but also at industry as a whole and understanding the final impact in terms of the environment in the long term and the returns of our actions and projects. We have an impact on society. We started in 2015 with a strong focus on the international market, and about 70% of our business is outside of Portugal. The Portuguese market, although interesting, is not large enough for us. We have been growing steadily in these last seven years. Emerging economies are saturated with fierce competition; there are much bigger players working in everything in terms of the energy transition, energy efficiency, renewables, water management, water infrastructure, and so on. Despite the competition, we managed to develop a presence in several emerging economies in the last seven years.

Sofia Santos

Founder, Sofia Santos

Systemic was officially launched in 2013, though I established another company before in 2004, also related to consultancy in sustainability. Systemic really picked up in 2019, growing from only two people at that time to 10 now. Many companies and financial institutions started to realize they needed proper sustainability criteria, ESG policies, and all that, and demand just continued to grow. We also have many requests from city town halls, universities, large and small companies, and more. Regulations have a technical component: being a lawyer is not enough. The regulations are also about environmental data and environmental risk assessments. I have been working on sustainability and sustainable finance for the last 20 years, and Systemic can help with everything related to new regulations and assist its clients that are looking for such specific support in this area. My goal is to have the best team available to help all our clients. We are focusing on those who really want to be part of the company so we can all grow together. Another important aspect is knowledge. Everyone who comes to work with us does at least one executive course a year, so they are able to keep up with the new information coming out.

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