Canada solar firm in $250m bid to grab slice of Brazil renewables boom

Oman’s largest solar PV power plant achieves financial close

Canada’s Solar Provider Group is to enter the Brazilian renewables market with an aggressive ambition to invest up to $250m over the next five years.

The solar market in Brazil is growing exponentially, with 3.3 GW deployed last year alone. It has seen 44 per cent growth since 2018 and forecasts estimate capacity will hit 126 GW by 2040.

Toronto-headquartered Solar Provider Group (SPG) believes this growth, backed by public and government support, means the market “has the right set of opportunities that fit perfectly into the company’s global strategy”

Its Brazil team is led by Cesar Frota, who said: “I am excited at the opportunity the Brazilian market represents, for both Solar Provider Group, and the global solar industry. We look forward to building strong partnerships and providing clean, sustainable energy to my home country of Brazil.”

Brazil has seen 44 per cent solar growth since 2018

SPG is looking for local development partners in Brazil, as corporate buyers of power “with significant energy costs that are interested in buying solar power at a discount compared to current retail prices”.

Brazil’s Ministry of Energy and Mines has a plan which focuses on a significantly increased expansion of solar PV capacity to reach 8.6 GW by 2027 and the ministry has already provided the schedule for six auctions up to 2021.

In December, the Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) zeroed import taxes for solar cells, and the House of Representatives’ Finance and Taxation Committee approved a bill introducing incentives for the purchase of renewable energy equipment at farms.

This has seen a surge of Brazilian interest from solar firms, including BYD Company planning to double its solar panel production in the country from next month.

Bhavana Sri Pullagura, power analyst at research firm GlobalData, said Brazil is “making an effort to increase the presence of its renewable energy sources as part of the country’s diversification strategy. Solar energy is seen as a promising complementary source for Brazil, which has a high daily solar radiation. Due to the high radiation index and wide availability, cumulative solar PV capacity increased from 1 megawatt in 2010 to 1.82 GW in 2018.”

Pullagura added: “Investments in utility-scale solar energy projects awarded in the energy auctions are expected to reach over $5bn by 2020. The government’s goal is to attract $8bn in private direct investments, generating more than 160,000 new jobs. Due to the proposed changes including the net metering tariff reduction, the share of small scale solar generation is also expected to grow in the years ahead.”

“It expects that the Brazilian solar panel factories will reach a 35 per cent share in the domestic market in 2020 from a 20 per cent share in 2019.”

Pullagura highlighted that recently, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced that a proposed tax will be blocked for net-metered solar installations wherein urgent bills will be put forward in either legislative chamber to forbid the taxation of solar energy.

“Bazil’s new regulations are expected to be driven by renewable energy auctions, low solar electricity prices achieved in these auctions, high solar radiation combined with improvements in solar PV technology, lower costs, and new regulations,” explained Pullagura.

“The capitalization on low prices for solar are expected to be continued in future with further auctions by the Brazilian government. Favourable financing conditions through the Brazilian Development Bank and foreign capital sources, the tax breaks and state-wide incentives are attracting PV project developers and equipment manufactures globally. Due to the solar technology cost deflation investors are being attracted towards investing in solar in the country.”

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