Brazil prepares to join ISA, reaches 200 MW of solar DG

Brazil could join the International Solar Alliance International (ASI) soon. Under the framework of the recent Brazilian accession to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the entry into the ASI will represent an important step in the international positioning of Brazil.

According to the executive president of the Brazilian solar association ABSOLAR, Rodrigo Sauaia Brazil’s accession to the ASI will open the door for Brazil to benefit from multilateral programs and actions in the areas of financing, incentive policies, regulation, business models, technology, and research and development, among others.

“Brazil still has a delay of about 15 years compared to the other countries in the use of photovoltaic solar technology and our participation in ASI will contribute so that we can incorporate the best international practices, accelerate the development of photovoltaic solar energy in our country and position ourselves as a major player in this sector, increasingly strategic on the world stage,” said Sauaia.

The application for admission to the ASI was sent by the Presidency of the Republic to the National Congress on February 26, 2018, under priority regime, and awaits the response of the Plenary. As the presidency statement clarifies, Brazil’s accession to the ASI will not entail any cost to the country.

Meanwhile, the country has just reached the historic mark of 200 MW of installed power in distributed micro- and minigeneration photovoltaic systems in residences, shops and services, industries, public buildings and in rural areas.

According to the cartography of ABSOLAR, the solar source is the leader in this segment with more than 99% of the country’s installed DG solar power generators.

Broken into segments, residential consumers top the list with 78% of the total. They are followed by enterprises in the sectors of commerce and services (15.6%), rural consumers (2.9%), industries (2.3%), and other types, such as public lighting (0.2%) and public services (0.03%).

According to ABSOLAR, Brazil currently has 23,175 photovoltaic solar systems connected to the network, which total more than R $1.6 billion (US$492 million) in accumulated investments since 2012, distributed around all regions of the country.

All of these systems are installed under Brazil’s net metering legislation, which was issued by the Brazilian government in 2010. In 2016, the Ministry of Energy and Mines also introduced a package of measures to improve net metering conditions at a national level. The measures include, along with improved financial conditions for project loans, an increase of the size limit for projects under net metering to 5 MW.

Furthermore, the government is supporting distributed generation through Convention 16/15 (Convenio ICMS 16/2015), which exempts owners of solar power generators from paying ICMS, the Brazilian state sales tax, under net metering.

The country’s energy regulator ANEEL is aiming to reach a total of 886,723 PV systems under net metering by 2024.