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Brazil Doubles Its Solar PV Target To 7 GW By 2024

In December 2014, the Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy announced a goal to deploy 3.5 GW of solar PV by 2023.  Now, the Ministry has moved forward to almost double the previous “relatively conservative” target and will now be chasing a capacity of 7 GW by 2024 (Plano Decenal de Expansão de Energia – PDE 2024).

If achieved, the 7 GW would be enough to cover up to 3.3% of Brazil’s electricity demand in 2024. The Image - was taken in light of the successful solar auctions held in August this year. The country’s first solar PV auction held in 2014 was similarly well received.

In August this year, 834 MW of solar projects went under the hammer, and awarded under 20-year power purchase agreements at an average tariff of BRL 301.79/MWh (~$0.084/kWh).

Enel Green Power gained the largest share by bagging 553 MW of solar projects. Other winners included SunEdison, Canadian Solar, Conergy, and Sun Premier.

Last year, Brazil announced its solar plans with its first solar auction after releasing contracts totalling 1048 MW at an average solar tariff of $0.089/kWh.

The country is also looking to establish sizeable domestic PV manufacturing capacity. The revised targets are seen as a step in this direction. Apart from utility-scale plants, there are ongoing efforts to promote distributed solar installations by way of providing tax exemptions and removing bureaucratic hurdles.

As part of its commitment to national electricity generation and transmission plans, the Brazilian government will contract roughly 2 to 3 GW of new solar energy projects between the years 2015 and 2018, according to recent reports.

The drought during 2000 to 2002 proved that reliance on hydropower was not sufficient, and Brazil was forced to ration electricity usage. In the post-2002 period, there was a focus on diversifying into wind and biomass based power generation. Now, once again, below-average rains have depleted reservoirs and sent the country scrambling to further diversify its energy mix. Hydroelectric power is expected to drop from 67.6% currently to 56.7% of the country’s power demand in 2024.

The country recently submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions ahead of the Paris climate conference.

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is a Fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI, New Delhi). He tweets at @indiasolarpost. Views and opinion if any, are his own.


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