The Brazilian president said the potential introduction of a grid fee for net metered solar systems will be eliminated thanks to an urgent ad-hoc decree expected to be approved soon by parliament. The proposed ‘solar tax’ would have affected all new PV installations with a generation capacity of no larger than 5 MW under Brazil’s net metering regime.
Electricity regulator ANEEL has proposed applying a fee for solar systems with up to 5 MW of generation capacity and reducing energy payments for participants in the nation’s net metering program.
Only 530 MW of the 2.97 GW of renewable energy generation capacity contracted in the procurement exercise went to solar. Eleven solar projects were successful and their final electricity prices were far below those offered by competing technologies.
Brazil’s biggest lender has launched three tenders to select solar facilities to supply it with power through leasing. The central bank expects to buy around 4 GWh of electricity per year for the Federal District and another 2 GWh in the states of Goiás and Pará.
The cumulative capacity of 5 MW-or-smaller solar systems has reached 958 MW in Brazil, according to consultancy Greener. Around a third of that capacity was installed in the first half of this year, with projects relying on half-cell and PERC modules making up the largest share.
Cracking the two-cent-mark as a global standard for PV appears within sight as projects in the U.S. and Brazil have been signed below that threshold. Just two years ago the industry celebrated sub-three-cent bids in the MENA region. Prices have come down so quickly, however, the new records are another third cheaper.
The tender is on June 28. This year’s procurement exercise may allocate less capacity than previous auctions, due to lower demand for contracting new projects.
New PV installations under the nation’s net metering scheme grew 137% year-on-year from January to March, according to consultancy Greener, and module imports registered even greater growth, signalling activity in the distributed generation segment is increasing at a faster pace. With the regulator mooting changes to the net metering regime, however, it may reflect customers rushing to secure current tariffs.
Although power companies have urged the new administration of Jair Bolsonaro to reduce incentives for net metered solar distributed generation, ANEEL has proposed maintaining them until PV reaches a certain proportion of the electricity sector.
According to figures from solar association ABSolar, most of the installed capacity – 371.9 MW – was installed in 2018. Commercial PV dominates with 43.2% as cheaper modules and higher electricity tariffs, combined with an extensive net metering regime, continue to fuel installation rates.
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