By Scarlet Bringuenti Bennett
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Solar and wind energy development is set to grow in Brazil over the next 5-10 years, and according to some reports, may account for 8.12 percent and 0.95 percent of the Brazilian electricity usage.
In a recent report by local media outlet O Globo, the cost of solar power equipment is predicted to drop by fifty percent, which in turn will boost the growth of the distribution from the consumers themselves.
According to the World Energy Council’s 2016 report, “Global installed capacity for solar-powered electricity has seen an exponential growth, reaching around 227 GWe at the end of 2015. It produced one percent of all electricity used globally.”
“Germany has led PV capacity installations over last decade and continues as a leader followed by China, Japan, Italy and the United States.” All of Lating American and the Caribbean produced .09 percent in 2015, but Brazil has great potential due to the wide availability of solar resource, and therefor not needing to be centralized.
The Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) Energy Superintendent Carla Primavera confirms the growth potential and says that the renewable energy market has attracted great interest from international investors.
BNDES was the first Brazilian bank to issue Green Bonds, bonds backed by wind and solar energy projects. It raised US$1 billion – equivalent to R$3.8 billion – for the sector, but demand was five times higher.
Antonio Bolognesi, of Opperman Engenheria e Consultoria (Opperman Engineering and Consulting) says, “In 2012, there was only one photovoltaic power plant connected to the system. Now we have 40,000 to 50,000 connections. In the next 5 to 10 years, we will reach one million.”
So far there are nearly 600 wind farms and more than 7,000 wind turbines in twelve different states. Demonstrating that solar energy still has an emerging presence and is expected to have a major advancement.
The advancement of solar and wind sources of energy raises discussions about the need to maintain subsidies. Elbia Gannoum, president of the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica), says that wind power will soon be in second place in the electricity grid, surpassing the energy generated by biomass.
In the O Globo report, Já Rodrigo Sauaia, president of the Associação Brasileira de Energia Solar (Brazilian Association of Solar Energy, or ABSolar), calls for the creation of a policy for this energy source, for example in housing programs and government buildings.
He also calls for an industrial policy to manufacture photovoltaic modules in the country. Today, the tax burden for the industry reaches fifty percent, which makes it impossible to compete with the imported product.
It should also be taken into account that even though the conditions for solar PV are favorable, dissemination is restricted due to the high cost and lack of indigenous development.