As a leading distributor in the Brazilian market, how does Aldo Solar maintain its competitiveness? What is your competitive advantage?
Aldo has been in the distribution market for 38 years and we have that in our DNA. We are committed to being a hub for the largest manufacturers in the world and have a deep knowledge and understanding of taxes in our country, which guarantees us and our partners tax security as another great advantage. Our key word is planning: we carefully monitor all movement of the local and global markets, organize ourselves in advance, and constantly review all scenarios. We believe in growing, and making our customers grow – together.
Distributed generation PV in Brazil has grown at exponential rates in recent years. How would the approval of a new less friendly regulation impact the pace of growth for Brazil?
The solar PV sector is developing in the country. And it should develop further, as it is a source of clean and sustainable energy, with proven benefits and the obvious trend in most developed countries of the world. At this stage, solar deserves encouragement and not a change in the rules. The approval of a potential new regulation will slow down the segment’s expansion, job generation and make the ROI for end consumers more distant, possibly even making the project unfeasible in certain situations. If the current rules for distributed generation are changed, 672,000 jobs may not be generated by 2035, as currently projected. This would result in R$ 25 billion in tax revenue losses by 2027, and the sector could lose R $ 13.3 billion by 2035 – the year in which 75.38 million tons of CO2 will have been released into nature for the generation of electricity from traditional sources.
Which market segments and types of projects do you think would be most affected by this new net metering regulation and why?
Undoubtedly, the most affected models would be large projects, where there is an essential concern that changes would significantly affect payback. It is important that the rules are maintained for the growth of this business.
Earlier this year, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ruled out the proposed tax on solar energy after the power regulators ANEEL said they were considering applying a fee on small, net energy metered solar systems. Do you think that the popular approval of this proposal could still carry some weight against the changes currently in discussion?
If RN 482 is approved as currently proposed, it may simply make investment in solar energy production unfeasible. The Federal Chamber is already preparing a bill to ensure that there will be no taxation of solar energy for users of distributed generation (DG) and to prevent changes from being promoted, exclusively, by the regulatory agency (ANEEL).
I believe that together – the Federal Government, the National Congress, entrepreneurs in the solar sector, and the general public will be able to resolve this issue. We will fight together for the strengthening of a Solar Brazil. The subject was more heated in late 2019. We started 2020 with less concerns about changes to the rules.
Transportation infrastructure is one of the main challenges in Brazil. How do logistics present challenges and strategic opportunities for the solar business?
Brazil is a country of continental proportions and the transport infrastructure really hinders the way, and increases costs for entrepreneurs in all segments. But, as mentioned, it is necessary to carefully plan the logistical process, which is also one of the keys to Aldo Solar’s success.
We’ve invested a lot in logistics optimization, as we consider it a differentiator for customer satisfaction and for our business. We have a close partnership with the Port of Paranaguá, in the state of Paraná, where the company has an exclusive space for more than 500 containers and cargo clearance, and with Sudmar Transportes for faster equipment transportation to our headquarters. We have partnerships with major transporters in Brazil that are specializing in the solar segment which this is very good for the growth of the business.
Earlier this year, Aldo Solar partnered with Growatt. Why did you decide to partner with Growatt? How do their inverters compare with competitors?
Growatt is one of the fastest growing worldwide companies in the inverter market. It took only 18 months since its foundation to become the top brand in China in its segment. A differentiator of these inverters is the possibility of using the Growatt Online Smart Service system in which it is possible to monitor, manage and control the photovoltaic systems remotely.
Growatt`s excellence has been recognized by the market. Recently, it was awarded the Top Brand PV Europe Seal 2020 and Australia Seal 2020 award, from EuPD Research, which attests to and recognizes the manufacturer’s leading position in terms of product reliability, market penetration, brand awareness and customer satisfaction. By 2018 it had become the world’s third largest single-phase PV inverter supplier. Together with Growatt, we can provide quality service for customers.
What is expected from this new partnership?
We hope to extensively spread solar energy and offer excellent cost-benefit conditions to produce clean, cheaper energy to all Brazilians. We want to be Growatt’s largest distributor outside China – and we strongly believe in the manufacturer’s on grid and off grid solutions.
What makes you decide to partner with one company over another?
We always seek to establish partnerships with the best partners in the market that offer quality equipment, and an excellent cost-benefit ratio. We value win-win relationships and compliance with the negotiations that are discussed and aligned by both parties.
Product reliability and customer service are two key aspects to be considered when we make decision for partnership. With regards to Growatt, we understand their products and services very well. Their service center in Brazil in Mogi das Cruzes and the OSS system make Growatt an impressive company.
What are your projections for the residential DG market in Brazil for 2020? And beyond?
According to forecasts by ABSOLAR, the Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy, in 2020 the country should reach 5.4 GW of DG power, 260% growth in relation to the 2 GW produced last year. In 2019, 171,000 solar PV systems were connected to the grid.
By the end of the year, more than R$ 16.4 billion should be invested in the installation of solar PV systems to serve homes, businesses, industries, rural properties and public buildings, considering the average price of the systems, by power range.
Today, photovoltaic solar energy represents only 1.5% of the electricity mix in Brazil. In ten years, the Energy Research Company (EPE) believes that we will represent 10%. In 20 years, by 2040, Bloomberg suggests 32%. This will be the moment when solar energy will surpass hydro.