Solar distributed generation sees strong growth in Brazil


The prices of distributed generation PV systems installed in Brazil under net metering show the same downward trend registered over the past two years. A report by Brazilian consultancy Greener says the prices of PV systems in the segment – up to 1 MW in capacity – fell further from June 2017 to June 2018.

The consultancy reports, for example, the average price for a residential 4 kW solar system fell 12.5% from BRL6.58/W ($1.70/W) 14 months ago to BRL 5.76/W two months ago. For the latest value, Greener stressed BRL2.11 represents the cost of system installation, while the cost of the average price of the system itself accounts for the remaining BRL3.65.

For a commercial 50 kW system, the price fell year-on-year by around 8%, from BRL 4.83/W to 4.41/W. Of this price, BRL1.52 went to integration costs and BRL2.89 for the array.

The average price of a 1 MW distributed generation system decreased by 9.5% year-on-year, from BRL4.18/W to BRL3.78/W, a value which combines BRL1.05 for integration and BRL2.37 for hardware.

The report also reveals that at the end of June, 32,366 distributed generation PV systems – totaling 308.5 MW – had been connected to the Brazilian grid with the capacity added in the opening half of this year a remarkable 126.5 MW – more than the 120.3 MW Brazil installed last year. According to Greener, of the total installed capacity, around 43.8% is commercial installations, with residential systems accounting for another 40%.

Panel imports on the rise

The state with the largest share is Minas Gerais, with 69.5 MW, followed by Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo, with 45.2 MW and 39.7 MW, respectively.

What is still more impressive for the first half of this year is the volume of imported PV modules, which amounted to 413.5 MW, with some 410.5 MW of them sold. By comparison, in full year 2017 imports totaled 332.6 MW with sales of PV panels at 297.6 MW.

The report, based on data from 768 Brazilian installers between June 18, 2017, and July 11 this year, reveals around 36% of the interviewees are not satisfied with the state of the market. The report’s authors point out, however, that percentage is down from the 50% who were unhappy in May 2017.

Greener also reports Sices, Aldo and Renovigi are, in that order, still the country’s largest PV system installers, while Canadian Solar – which operates a solar module factory in Brazil – Jinko and Risen are the three largest module providers in the DG segment, with the former accounting for a 62.1% market share.

The report also provides information about the growth of the sector, challenges in module supply, the price of PV kits, contracts, financing options, and other information about market players.

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