São Paulo Aiming For 1 GW Of Solar Energy Capacity By 2020

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The Brazilian state of São Paulo — the economic and industrial heart of the country — is currently aiming to possess a total of at least 1 GW of solar energy capacity by the year 2020, a goal which is very achievable, according to a solar atlas of the region that was recently released by the state’s energy secretariat. The state of São Paulo possesses twice the maximum global solar irradiation of the solar powerhouse Germany.

São Paulo, which in addition to being the economic heart of the country is also the most populous state in Brazil, has a total solar power generation potential of 12 TWh per year in the areas with the absolute highest annual solar radiation, according to the new solar atlas. The areas in question total 732 square kilometers — 0.3% of the state’s total area of 248,209 square kilometers. It’s estimated that these areas could host at least 9,100 MW (9.1 GW) of installed capacity.

São Paulo is already well on its way to achieving its aforementioned goal of possessing 1 GW of solar energy capacity by 2020 — 207 MW of thermal solar capacity are already installed. The rest of the 1 GW target capacity will be split up thusly: a further 592 MW of thermal solar capacity, 50 MW of photovoltaic solar capacity, 50 MW of concentrated solar power, and 100 MW set aside for passive solar energy exploitation in the form of solar architecture projects.

Image Credit: São Paulo via Flickr CC
Image Credit: São Paulo via Flickr CC

PV Magazine continues:

The new atlas, which was developed with the aim of attracting new investments in the sector, includes 25 detailed maps that illustrate the best areas for photovoltaic energy development. Approximately 10% of the analyzed areas would have suitable technical and economic conditions for solar energy generation, according to the study.

Some of the best areas for large-scale PV solar developments in São Paulo state are Araçatuba (5,520 kWh per square meter a day), Barretos (5,509 kWh per square meter a day) and Rio Preto (5,512 kWh per square meter a day), according to the atlas.

According to São Paulo’s energy secretary José Aníbal, investments in photovoltaic energy production will lead the way towards a sustainable future in the state. He also added that the state has two times more “global solar irradiation” than Germany. Of course, Germany is the world’s installed solar power leader. Its solar industry accounts for 130,000 jobs amongst 10,000 companies. It also installs solar for much less than almost all other countries.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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