Brazil is expected to hit 2 GW of installed solar PV capacity by the end of 2018, according to the country’s solar association – Associação Brasileira de Energia Solar Fotovoltaica (ABSOLAR).
The energy agency said that it will reach 2 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative solar PV capacity installed by December, having already hit the 1.1 GW mark and with enough projects under construction this year to beat the target.
In a press release published earlier this month, ABSOLAR highlighted its forthcoming Brazil Solar Power conference to be held in the capital of Rio de Janeiro on June 12 and 13. It is the third time the conference has been held and will conduct dialogue between solar developers and Brazilian authorities to discuss the current situation of global solar PV sector and Brazil’s future policies.
As known from widespread media reports, Brazil was doubling down on solar in a big way, considering that the International Renewable Energy Agency issued just last month its Renewable Capacity Statistics 2018, which revealed that Brazil had installed 1 GW of solar power capacity in 2017 — a ten-fold increase from 2016.
With Brazil crossing the 1 GW milestone at the beginning of this year, ABSOLAR said there are more than 27,000 distributed solar generation units in operation, resulting in a total of more than 320 MW of capacity. Further, the solar power sector in 2016 saw a huge growth of 270%. Then in 2017, it grew 304% and it is forecast to expand 358% this year.
Helena Chung, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analyst for Brazil said BNEF was confident in ABSOLAR’s forecasts, similarly expecting Brazil to install around 1 GW of solar PV this year thanks in part to federal auctions.
“4.6 GW [(DC)] of solar projects has won contracts in five auctions so far, and in 2017, 1.2 GW of the projects commissioned came from auctions,” Chung said.
Looking forward, federal auctions will continue to dictate yearly installation figures.
“There will be a slowdown between 2019-20, as Brazil didn’t hold any auction in a two-year period (2016-17), which impacts future installations in the near-future,” Chung added. “But, due to recent auctions (one in Dec 17, another in April 18), solar installations will likely come back by 2021-22.”
Looking back at the A-4 energy auction taking place last month, the country awarded around 1 GW of renewable energy capacity including 364 MW to Canadian Solar, one of the world’s leading solar power companies. In total, Brazil awarded a total of 806.6 MW of solar power as part of the auction, at an average price of around 118 BRL ($35.2)/MW-hour (MWH), the lowest ever price in the country, after the country’s energy regulator, ANEEL, had set a maximum price of 312 BRL (US$96.5)/MWh for PV.
Brazil Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) said it expects the 49 solar projects contracted in the A-4 auction to generate investments of BRL8 billion (~US$2.2 billion) by 2021 and create a further 1.8GW of power capacity.