• Brazil has approved a new decree which creates new mechanisms to finance infrastructure projects with environmental or social benefits
  • Renewable energy sources fit into the picture and the MME sees more than 36 GW of new capacity coming online in the country within next 10 years
  • Expected share of new solar PV plants in this scheme of things is over 8 GW, more than 25 GW for wind power and over 3 GW of small hydroelectric plants

Over the next 10 years, Brazil may be looking at over 8 GW of new solar PV power plants, more than 25 GW of new wind power plants and new projects for small hydroelectric plants exceeding 3 GW capacity to come up in the country thanks to the government clearing Decree No. 10,387 on June 5, 2020.

Edited by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the decree creates new mechanisms for issuing green debentures to finance infrastructure projects that provide relevant environmental or social benefits, said the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), and adds that this decree gives new impetus to the implementation of new renewable energy sources.

It creates ‘more favorable conditions’ for developers to obtain financing to construct small hydroelectric, wind power, solar PV plants and plants powered by solid urban waste.

The government hopes to attract investments of more than BRL 170 billion ($34.69 billion) by 2029 with this over 36 GW renewable energy coming online which would also add to the clean energy matrix of the country which currently the ministry says stands at 83% and generate thousands of jobs as well.

“In addition to all these benefits, renewable sources generate cheaper energy than sources that use fossil fuels. This presidential measure will also contribute to the reduction of tariffs paid by all consumers. Consuming electricity in homes, industry and commerce will be cheaper,” states the ministry.

With more than 5 GW of installed solar PV capacity in the country, solar is quite a significant piece of the renewable energy matrix that Brazil wants to have for the country. On June 6, 2020 local solar PV association ABSOLAR said the national solar PV capacity was 5,763.5 MW, comprising 2,928 MW of large scale PV and 2,835.5 MW of rooftop and small scale solar.

The cumulative solar capacity, as per ABSOLAR, exceeds 5,568.8 MW of coal and nuclear power plant capacity in the country.

Recently, SEMAD gave environmental clearance to the ‘largest’ solar PV project with 1.35 GW capacity to Aurora Energia to build in Minas Gerais.

Nonetheless, there might be a short bump en route for solar to grow further in the country, at least according to market researchers from GlobalData, which expect annual installations in 2020 to drop to 700 MW compared to 1.3 GW in 2019 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (see Brazil Likely To Add 700 MW Solar In 2020).