Brazil surpassed the historic mark of 10 gigawatts (GW) of operational power of the photovoltaic solar source, in large plants and in small and medium systems installed on roofs, facades and land, according to the Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy (Absolar ).
According to Absolar, the photovoltaic systems installed in the country already represent more than 70% of the power of the Itaipu hydroelectric plant, the second largest in the world and the largest in Latin America. “This reinforces the strategic role of technology in the supply of electricity in the country, which is fundamental for the resumption of national economic growth”, highlighted the association.
With the advance, Brazil joined the select group of countries with the largest installed capacity of solar energy above 10 gigawatts (GW). The country appears in 14th position and is the only one in Latin America in the top 15 of the ranking prepared by the International Agency for Renewable Energy (Irena).
China leads the world (253.8 GW of installed capacity in 2020), followed by the United States (73.8 GW) and Japan (68.6 GW). See ranking below:
- China: 253.8 MW
- USA: 73.8 MW
- Japan: 68.6 MW
- Germany: 53.7 MW
- India: 38.9 MW
- Italy: 21.5 MW
- Australia: 17.3 MW
- Vietnam: 16.5 MW
- South Korea: 13.5 MW
- UK: 13.4 MW
- Spain: 11.8 MW
- France: 11.7 MW
- Netherlands: 10.2 MW
- Brazil: 10 MW
- Ukraine: 7.3 MW
Solar energy grows in Brazil
Most of the generation comes from the roofs
Currently, the Large solar power plants are the seventh largest source of generation in Brazil, according to Absolar. The projects in operation are located in 9 states, in the Northeast (Bahia, Ceará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte), Southeast (Minas Gerais and São Paulo) and Midwest (Tocantins) regions.
The large solar plants that supply electricity to the national interconnected system, however, account for the smallest part of the installed capacity of this energy source. The biggest slice of the cake comes from the roofs.
In the centralized generation segment, Brazil has 3.5 GW of installed power in solar photovoltaic plants, equivalent to 1.9% of the country’s electricity matrix. In the segment of own energy generation, there are 6.5 GW of installed power.
“By adding the installed capacities of the large plants and the generation of solar energy, the solar source now occupies the fifth place in the Brazilian electricity matrix. Recently, solar has surpassed the installed power of thermoelectric plants powered by oil and other fossils, which represent 9.1 GW of the Brazilian electricity matrix”, informed the association.
In addition to diversifying the country’s electricity supply, solar power generation reduces the pressure on water resources.
According to the organization, the solar source has already brought to Brazil more than R$ 52.7 billion in new investments since 2012 and avoided the emission of 10.7 million tons of CO2 in electricity generation.
“Large solar plants generate electricity at prices up to ten times lower than emergency fossil thermoelectric plants or electricity imported from neighboring countries today, two of the main factors responsible for the tariff increase on consumers,” said Absolar CEO, Rodrigo Sauaia.
Contribution of hydroelectric plants to energy generation reaches lowest level in Brazil