January 9 (Renewables Now) - Brazil has surpassed 1 GW of installed solar capacity according to the country's Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy (Absolar).
This milestone has been achieved by only 30 countries worldwide so far and the cumulative capacity is enough to meet the demand of 500,000 local homes, according to the association.
According to Absolar's president, Rodrigo Sauaia, Brazil has entered 2018 with an overall capacity of 1.1 GW, with large-scale facilities, such as the ones secured in energy auctions, accounting for 935 MW. The remaining portion comes from small installations, such as distributed systems.
Despite the progress, Sauaia states that Brazil is still below its potential, as it is "more than 15 years behind in the use of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy". To achieve its full potential, the country needs a structured national programme to accelerate the development of solar energy, he said.
The country secured 574 MW of new solar projects in December's auction and it has 20,021 MW registered to take part in April's bidding.