Clean Power

Published on September 16th, 2013 | by James Ayre


2,700 MW Of Solar PV Up For Grabs At Upcoming Brazilian Renewable Energy Auction

September 16th, 2013 by  

2.7 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) will be up for grabs at Brazil’s next renewable energy auction on November 18th, according to the government’s energy ministry. This upcoming auction will be the first time that solar PV has been included in one of the auctions — most previous auctions have been dominated by wind energy.

The inclusion of solar PV is something of a surprise, given relatively recent comments from the government in Brazil stating that it didn’t expect solar PV to become a viable option in the country until 2017 or so. That April 2012 statement argued that solar energy was almost twice as expensive as wind. But it appears that there must have been some unexpected developments since then, as solar PV will now been included in the auctions.

Image Credit: Christ the Redeemer Brazil via Flickr CC

Image Credit: Christ the Redeemer Brazil via Flickr CC

According to Mauricio Tolmasquim — the president of the government’s Energy Research Company (EPE) — “the ongoing fall in solar panel prices meant it was likely photovoltaic generation would gain more space in the Brazilian energy matrix,” as reported by PV Tech.

On that note, it’s important to keep in mind just how substantial Brazil’s solar energy potential actually is — Brazil has some of the highest solar irradiation rates in the world, ranging from 4.25 to 6.5 sun hours/day. As we reported previously: “The large majority of its land area in the tropics, Brazil’s estimated solar incidence ranks among the highest in the world. Solar insolation levels (measured in kWh/m2/day) are relatively high and promising across the country, from Belem in the north– an average 5.02 — to Porto Alegre in the south– an average 4.30. Large urban metro areas, such as Sao Paolo– an average 4.54 — and Rio de Janeiro– an average 4.32– likewise hold promise.”

With such substantial potential, hopefully the rate of solar energy installation will begin picking up in the country. 🙂

For previous Brazil solar news check out:

  1. Brazil Receives Requests For 392 MW Of Solar Power Projects Within One Week
  2. First Brazil 2014 World Cup Solar Powered Stadium Opens
  3. Brazil World Cup Stadiums to Be Powered by Solar Energy

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About the Author

'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. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • dave

    where can i find the rules for entering into the solar auction in brazil?

  • JamesWimberley

    You are getting this slightly wrong. The 2.7 GW is the total capacity entered for the previously fixed solar-only A3 auction on November 18. The government has discretion abou the amount it awards. This auction is experimental pump-priming, and it´s unlikely that the awards will be anything like the total bid. The new announcement is the admission of solar projects to the much larger general A-5 auction on December 13. Solar developers have ben agitating for this as they think that they can now compete on level terms. The A3 bids can be resubmitted easily for the A5. However, the target production date for A5 projects is 2018 (which hydro needs). So if they feel like it solar bidders can take a flyer on likely further falls in costs. Source:

    It´s also worth remembering that the awards under the last auction for wind were linited by grid connection capacity in the Nordeste, not price (which is now below anything else). The same constraint applies to utility solar.

    Definitely to follow. But still no news on rooftop in Brazil, in spite of the new net metering law. The Dilma admniistration has no appetite for taking on incumbent utilities – they are a good part of its patronage and funding base.

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