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A recent report published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has highlighted Brazil’s incredible rise as an emerging global wind power. In just 10 years, it has managed to reach sixth position in the world ranking, after moving up from fifteenth place. Brazil now has 21.5 gigawatts of installed capacity compared to 1 gigawatt in 2011, making wind energy the second largest contributor to the country’s energy mix. However, China’s leadership in wind energy, with 310 GW of installed wind capacity, is light years ahead of the rest.
During 2021, Brazil was also among Top 5 markets with the largest installed capacity, along with China, the United States, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. This was achieved by installing 3 GW of wind power capacity to reach the milestone of 20 GW of installed capacity during 2021, equivalent to 70% of the total capacity of the whole of Latin America.
Even with all that, according to the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica), the sector is expected to attract investments worth USD 5.8 billion in 2022, with an installation portfolio of close to 5 GW for this year. In addition, the National Energy Development Office (EPE) estimates that the period between 2020 and 2029 will see investments amounting to USD 59 billion for centralised power generation and USD 20 billion for the power transmission and distribution network.
According to the World Wind Energy Council report, investors have their eyes on Brazil as one of the preferred markets, based on multiple applications for licenses for offshore wind projects that would total 80 GW once installed. While this may seem a considerable figure, Brazil’s technical wind power potential is around 700 GW of capacity; this may seem unattainable at present, but it demonstrates the real possibility of developing new wind power capacity.
In addition to this news, a year ago we learned that Brazilian PV reached 10 GW of installed capacity after installing 2 GW of capacity in a year. According to media outlets such as PV Magazine, the strong growth in the PV distributed generation segment (a segment that includes all installations up to 5 MW in size and operating under the net metering regime) is responsible, together with the growing number of large-scale bilateral power purchase agreements, for this significant advance in Brazilian PV.
Brazil’s energy sector is one of the world’s most renewables-intensive, rising from 42.4% in 2012 to 46.1% in 2019, making the sector one of the least carbon-intensive in the world. Brazil’s renewables sector has traditionally been led by hydro (accounting for 65% of the country’s domestic electricity supply in 2020), wind (contributing 8.6%) and biomass (8.4%). Meanwhile, photovoltaic energy accounted for 1% of this domestic supply.
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