02 de outubro de 2017

The energy that comes from the sun

New rules and incentives issued by the government will increase solar energy generation as part of the national energetic matrix of the country


Brazil is eventually waking up for the potential of solar energy as part of the national energy matrix. This market reorganization is driven by the growing demand of residential consumers that are responding currently by more than 70 percent of the market. The current leader of the Latin-American market of solar energy is Chile. But till 2018—according to the Strategic Guide of GTM Research for Latin America—Mexico and Brazil may overpass Chile in the total of installations. In accordance with the bulletin “Solar Energy in Brazil and in the World”, disclosed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, in the next two years Brazil will be in the ranking of the 20 highest producers of solar energy in the world.

The increase in the use of photo-voltaic solar energy in the country and the centralized generating capacity of 2.6 GW confirm this projection. Till the end of 2015, all countries of the world had a total installed photo-voltaic solar power of 234 GW, considering also an expansion of 52 GW in that year, what corresponds to 1635 sq.km. of solar panels. The studies of the National Plan of Energy (PNE 2050) that are being developed by the Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (Energy Research Company) estimate that 18 percent of the residences will have photo-voltaic generation (13 percent of the residential consumption) till 2050.

In a quicker projection, the Plano Decenal de Expansão de Energia (PDE-2024 – 10-year Plan of Energy Increase)—estimates that the installed capacity of solar generation in Brazil will reach 8300 MW. And the studies of the PDE 2025 that are being carried out show an increase in these previews. According to ABSOLAR (Brazilian Association of Photo-voltaic Solar Energy), the generation of photo-voltaic solar energy in Brazil will reach 1000 MW of installed capacity till the end of this year. Figures indicate an increase of 325 percent in relation to the current capacity of 235 MW, enough to supply approximately 60 thousand residences with up to 5 persons in each one.

Intersolar South America—carried out between August 22 and 24—showed the enthusiasm of this market, attracting experts, companies, clients and suppliers of the whole world. But even in an optimistic scenario, the chain that involves the area of solar energy still fights with several obstacles that are preventing the growth of the industry, mainly when dealing with infrastructure projects.

According to Rodrigo Sauaia, executive director of the Brazilian Association of Solar Energy, the cancellation of two auctions affected the confidence of the market and the increase of solar projects, which are not contracted through auctions since 2015. Its total at that date was of approximately 20 GW. For this reason, Absolar is demanding with the Ministry of Energy to include photo-voltaic projects in two auctions announced by the MME for the next year.

Last year, projects registered for the auctions had a total of approximately 13 GW. Rodrigo Sauaia says that the entity will demand the inclusion of this source in the auction A-6, since it is registered only in the auction A-4.  Sauaia says that the investors were surprised by the decision of the MME and became “strongly discontent with the measure”, that harms photo-voltaic projects. “We are not considering nor fair nor isonomic to forbid this source of participation, since it is in a process of insertion into the market”, says him.

According to Dr. Florian Wessendorf, general director from Solar Promotion International (Germany), present in the Intersolar, in spite of the backwards and forwards of the federal government, Brazil is currently trying to reorganize and diversify its solar auctions and is looking for alternatives to make the industry not so dependent of government auctions. He pointed out that the Ministry also considers an energy policy with fiscal parity, adding incentives to produce equipment in the country. On his point of view, the impact of both initiatives will strengthen the Brazilian solar industry.