FactorENERGIA is a personal story in the field of Renewable Energy and Business Innovation.
After working several years in his higher education area, educational sciences and multimedia, Roberto Varela decided to create the company FactorENERGIA, which was the first company in the Autonomous Region of Madeira to implement energy efficiency solutions, already thinking ahead to install renewable energy technologies once the legislation allowed the sale of electrical energy to the grid. He carried out the installation of wind farms and a mini hydroelectric power plant, having later concentrated his activity on the installation of solar thermal and photovoltaic panels.
He created partnerships with equipment suppliers to provide training to three electricians to upgrade their skills for the installation of energy efficiency solutions and renewable energy technologies. With the growth of the company, new collaborators were hired.
FactorENERGIA was created in 2007 to implement energy efficiency solutions.
In 2008, the company was a pioneer in the Region with the implementation of photovoltaic systems (microgeneration) for the sale of energy to the public grid. Leonel Fernandes, aged 55 years, was hired as a Sales Technician.
In 2010, the company carried out its first investment as an energy producer.
In 2011, David Sousa, aged 41 years, was hired as an Electrician.
In 2012, Andreia Correia, aged 32 years, was hired as a Management Assistant.
In 2013, the company was qualified as an ESCO (Energy Services Company).
In 2014, Ricardo Pestana, a Mechanical Engineer, aged 39 years, was hired.
In 2015, the company developed a SmartSolar system with the objective to monitor the production and consumption of electricity in homes, by remote control. In the same year, he expanded his area of activity to energy certification for large service buildings.
In 2016, FactorENERGIA was partner of the 9grid research project, financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds, which involved a scholarship holder for the development of a tool to monitor the production and consumption of renewable energy.
In 2017, FactorENERGIA was awarded the public tender to monitor the first 10 buildings belonging to Public Administration under the project, “Efficiency in Electricity Consumption in the Public Administration Sector of the Autonomous Region of Madeira”.
In 2018, Timóteo Freitas, aged 26 years, an engineer in renewable energy and Juan Bort, aged 31 years, an electrotechnical and computers engineer were hired through a professional internship. Ruben Sousa, aged 34 years was also hired. In the same year, an electrician was hired.
In 2019, Mariano Rodrigues, aged 35 years, an electrician, was hired.
FactorENERGIA was the first company in the Autonomous Region of Madeira to implement energy efficiency solutions, already thinking of the installation of renewable energy technologies once the legislation allowed the sale of electrical energy to the grid.
Being an entrepreneur, resilient, innovative, risk-taking, visionary, aware of new technologies and innovative solutions in any area are fundamental skills to create one’s own business and provide opportunities to empower professionals to work in new business areas and to give job opportunities to young professionals.
Two engineers benefitted initially from a professional internship funded (EP PRIVADO) by the Regional Institute of Employment, that is an important instrument to support companies to hire recently graduated students, avoiding them to become NEETs.
The main difficulty concerning the production of electric energy from renewable energy sources is the inability of Madeira’s small isolated electric grid to accept more intermittent renewable energy. Currently, companies install renewable energy systems for self-consumption and all the energy produced outside of operating hours is rejected, making the investment’s return period longer.
This is an example of a company, created by a self-motivated and innovative entrepreneur, that has already created 8 qualified jobs and with the technical capacity to provide training in the renewable energy area, with potential to combat youth unemployment and requalify technical skills of professional NEETs for new job positions.
Find out more on: https://factorenergia.pt/sobre-a-factorenergia/