Distributed generation of electricity in Brazil showed a remarkably strong growth trend in 2015, as the number of connections grew 308%.
This news is according to new figures published by Brazil’s energy regulator the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL).
The figures account for micro-generation (systems up to 75 kW) and mini-generation (systems between 75 kW to 5 MW). The majority of these systems are solar.
Last year, Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) also launched its ProGD program encouraging consumers to generate their own power from renewable energy sources, with a specific emphasis on solar.
MME said that by 2030, around 2.7 million Brazilian consumers may have distributed generation installations either in residences, industries, or the agricultural sector. This could be the equivalent of 23.5 GW clean energy production.
The state of Minas Gerais shows the most micro- and mini-generation systems with 333 connections, followed by Rio de Janeiro (203) and Rio Grande do Sul (186).
An ANEEL statement reads: “Power generation near the place of consumption has a number of advantages over traditional centralized generation, such as the economics of investments in transmission, reducing losses in the networks and improving the quality of electricity service.”
This chart shows the rise of distributed generation systems in Brazil:
Last November, the board of ANEEL approved “historic” enhancements to the net metering regulations which come into force in March 2016.
Rodrigo Sauaia, executive director of this nation’s leading PV association, Associação Brasileira de Energia Solar Fotovoltaica (Absolar), stated the organization expects distributed generation growth to increase further in 2016, due to revisions coming in March, which allows for virtual net metering and community solar.
As reported by PV-Tech, Absolar is conducting discussions with the government on how best to accelerate the use of distributed generation.
“The two parties are also working on a solution to make financing available to both consumers and companies interested in investing in solar PV distributed generation models. For example, public banks have a good network of agencies throughout the country and that could serve as strategic source of financing for companies and the end consumer, said Sauaia.
“Meanwhile certain state governments and municipalities would like to promote the uptake of solar and are planning state programmes.”
Sauaia said: “We have high hopes that this year will be another landmark year for solar energy, not only in distributed generation, but also in large-scale projects, which combined represent more than BRL8 billion (US$1.98 billion) in investment to be developed in coming years.
“We need to keep an eye on the quality of both the equipment that is used in these projects and also on the installations and projects that are yet to be developed.”
With such a cleaner distributed energy infrastructure functioning, the electricity grid should be far more dependable.
Image: Colorful houses in Pernambuco, Brazil via Shutterstock