Brazil Crosses 14 GW Solar Capacity Mark

Highlights :

  • The distributed technology (DG) installations amount to 9.3 GW and the large-scale solar power plants account for the remaining 4.7 GW.
  • Since 2012, the Brazilian solar sector has attracted investments of about $14.6 billion.

The installed solar power capacity of Brazil has reached the 14 GW milestone. The announcement of the major achievement was made by ABSOLAR which is a domestic solar power association.

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Out of the 14 GW solar power presently installed in the South American country, distributed technology installations amount to 9.3 GW. The large-scale solar plants account for the remaining 4.7 GW. These are also called centralised (utility) solar.

With regards to the distributed solar projects, 99.9% of the solar energy is being utilized from all of the installations within the country. The ABSOLAR data says that beginning from 2012, the Brazilian solar sector has attracted investments of about $14.6 billion that helped the country to diversify its energy basket, add more clean and renewable energy and create about 420,000 jobs for the locals.

As per the reports, solar energy has surpassed the installed capacity of Brazil’s thermal power plants that mostly run on oil, gas and coal. In fact, solar power today ranks fifth in the Brazilian electricity mix.

According to the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), renewable energy makes about 83 per cent of Brazil’s energy supply in 2020 and non-renewable energy makes a mere 17 per cent. Hydro and marine energy makes about 60 per cent of the total followed by wind at 10 per cent, bio-energy at 9 per cent and solar energy at 4 per cent. But the agency data hints that solar energy is rising at fastest speed among the renewable sources of energy.

Even as Hydro ensures a high share of ‘clean’ energy for Brazil, the immense damage it has inflicted on the amazon rainforests within  its own territory, and the climate change impact that looms over the continent increasingly risks those hydropower resources and their long term sustainability. Drier weather could drastically impact generation, making it critical to preserve what remains of its forests, and focus on alternative energy means to derisk from Hydropower. Solar’s growth in that contest is encouraging.

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