October 18 (Renewables Now) - Photovoltaic (PV) power has been steadily increasing its share in Brazil’s electricity generating capacity over the past few years, and this year, it has officially turned into the country’s fastest-growing source of electricity.
In mid-2017, after a whopping 930.5% year-on-year increase, the country's solar capacity reached 237 MW.
The 11,500 grid-connected PV systems, installed by the end of June 2017, represent more than BRL 780 million (USD 245m/ EUR 208m) in private investments, solar power association ABSOLAR calculates. According to the association, these investments could reach BRL 12.5 billion by 2018, if, as it forecasts, a total of 1 GW of new solar power capacity (both large-scale and distributed) joins the grid in 2017.
Distributed generation (DG) is responsible for nearly half of the spectacular growth of solar in Brazil.
The government has introduced a number of incentives to spur investment in distributed generation, as part of its efforts to reduce dependence on hydroelectricity and avert the need to build costly power lines. DG took off with the adoption of the ground-breaking normative resolution REN 482/2012, later amended by the normative resolution REN 687/2015, which came into force in March 2016.
Power sector regulator ANEEL had DG solar PV installations with a combined capacity of 106.4 MW on record at August 24, 2017.
In terms of installed capacity, the residential properties take the bulk with 42% of the total, followed by commercial business with 38%, and industrial sites with 11%. The public sector makes up for the remainder.
In geographic terms, Minas Gerais is the undisputed leader among Brazilian states with 2,637 DG systems installed, followed by Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo.
Growing consumer interest in distributed generation has led big names in the energy industry to look into this business opportunity. Companies like CPFL Energia, AES Tiete, Enel, Engie and JA Solar are already exploring ways of benefitting from the sector's growth.
Learn more about the sector players' plans, regulatory framework and market forecasts in the "DISTRIBUTED SOLAR POWER GENERATION IN BRAZIL" report, available here ahead of the Brazil International Renewable Energy Congress (BIREC) next week.