Solar power can ease Brazil's energy crisis - consultant

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Brazil should look to solar power to help reduce the country's rising dependence on thermoelectric plants, a consultant has told BNamericas.

According to local power regulator Aneel, installed solar capacity in Brazil stands at just 167MW, about 0.13% of the country's overall generation park.

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But renewable energy consultant Erick Castro says the source could one day match output from hydroelectric and thermopower plants.

"It might take time, perhaps decades, but photovoltaic power could be just as important as hydroelectric and thermoelectric energy," said Castro, CEO of Fortaleza-based Nótus Soluções.

The comments come as Brazil's electric generation sector increasingly relies on gas-fired thermopower due to dwindling output from drought-stricken hydroelectric plants.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), generation from natural gas and other fossil fuels reached record levels in August, while hydroelectric production fell to a nine-year low.

Castro said wind and solar power could work in tandem to overcome their intermittent nature – particularly in Brazil's northeast, where strong night-time winds complement high solar irradiation.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.