The potential for a significant uptake in solar PV development across South America got another boost recently as ANEEL – the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency – announced intentions to implement two new policies that could drastically increase PV demand in South America’s largest economy.
The first policy change offers the prospect of stimulating development in the utility segment, with the introduction of an 80% reduction in taxes on energy produced by solar power plants. The second policy could boost demand for smaller systems as it will create a true net-metering system for smaller scale residential and commercial systems.
Historically, Brazil has been slower to promote the use of solar PV compared to other countries in the region, and had been surpassed by Chile, Peru, and Argentina in terms of promoting large-scale PV power plant development. However, by implementing policies that promote growth across customer segments, Brazil is now positioning itself to be a key driver of PV installations in the South America region.
As a result, NPD Solarbuzz is projecting a regional Y/Y growth rate of over 350% in 2012, with the prospects of triple-digit growth out to 2014. As of March 2012, there was in excess of 2.5 GW of large-scale solar PV projects under development with completion timelines spread over the next five years. Analysis contained within the recent Marketbuzz 2012 market report highlights other project and policy developments at the country level that are contributing to this growth.
Moreover, these developments may be further enhanced due to the rapidly-decreasing installed PV system prices; large-scale PV power generation has been approaching grid-parity in several regions in South America, including northeast Brazil, northern Chile, and southern Peru.
Collectively, the South American and Caribbean regions are expected to experience strong growth over the next few years; by 2016, they could account for as much as 5% of global PV demand.
Brazil’s recent policy announcements to accelerate domestic PV demand should therefore be seen as a significant step towards reaching this outcome. And one that may stimulate further interest in domestic module manufacturing and local sales and marketing presence from major integrators and module suppliers.
NPD Solarbuzz 2012 Marketbuzz