Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy reaches first gigawatt in Brazil

According to the Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association - ABSOLAR, this historic milestone positions the country among the top 30 markets in the world  São Paulo, January 5th, 2018 - Brazil has just surpassed the historic mark of 1 gigawatt (GW) in operational solar PV projects connected to the national electricity grid, according to data from the Brazilian Solar Photovoltaic Energy Association (ABSOLAR). The installed capacity is equivalent to a demand of 500,000 residences, generating renewable, clean, sustainable and competitive electricity capable of supplying 2 million Brazilians.

According to the association, only 30 of the world's 195 countries have more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity. The country's first solar PV gigawatt is a result of the strong growth of both centralized and distributed solar PV generation markets in 2017. "In the centralized generation, we observed the inauguration of large solar PV power plants contracted by the federal government in electricity energy auctions. The power plants in operation are located mainly in the states of Bahia, Piauí, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Norte and Pernambuco and represented a total capacity of 0.935 GW by the end of 2017. In distributed generation, we registered a strong growth in the use of solar PV energy systems by the population, companies and the government in residences, businesses, industries, public buildings and rural areas, in all regions of the country, resulting in a total capacity of 0.164 GW by the end of 2017. Summing up these two segments of the market, we have reached practically 1.1 GW operating in the country since the beginning of 2018, in line with ABSOLAR projections announced in January 2017", celebrates ABSOLAR’s CEO Rodrigo Sauaia.

"We are optimistic and celebrating this historic step in favor of solar PV in Brazil, with the certainty that we will have a strong growth of the sector in the coming years and decades. Brazil has a huge solar resource and there is an increasing interest from the population, companies and also public officers in harnessing their roofs, facades and parking lots to generate renewable energy locally, saving money and contributing to the construction of a country with more sustainable and quality renewable jobs" says Sauaia. Despite the steps forward, Sauaia points out that Brazil is still below its potential. "Brazil is more than 15 years behind in the use of solar PV energy. We can be among the main players in the world in this market, just as we are in hydropower, biomass and wind power. In order to do this, we need a structured national program to accelerate the development of solar PV energy. This opportunity needs to be on the agenda of governments, politicians and candidates, especially in a year of elections like 2018. "