Brazilian bank aims to boost domestic solar manufacturing

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Brazilian development bank the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) is set to announce details of low-cost financing to boost solar development in the nation.

According to a Bloomberg report yesterday, the bank will boost a BRL560 million ($247.4 million) cash injection from the government’s Fundo Clima anti climate change fund with its own reserves, to give the solar industry a much-needed leg-up.

According to the Bloomberg report, any solar projects developed with BNDES money up to 2017 will have to incorporate panels with Brazilian-made frames as well as some, unspecified, locally sourced electronic components.

For the following two years, bank-funded schemes will have to include further system products manufactured in Brazil and the domestic content requirement of the loan scheme will demand the use of Brazilian cells from 2020 onwards, with the bank offering additional help – unspecified in the Bloomberg report – to developers who use additional locally-made components.

Brazil is preparing for its first national solar auction in October amid hopes of developing 3.5 GW of projects within four years.

The bank funding stream is due to be officially revealed in a couple of weeks’ time but the Bloomberg report quoted a warning from Markus Vlatsis, country manager for Chinese manufacturer Yingli Solar, who predicted the local content aspect of eligibility for BNDES funding would see Brazilian-made modules costing 25-50% more than Chinese imports.