Brazil has recently released its 10-year Energy Expansion Plan proposition, PDE 2026, which expects the country to reach more than 13 GW of overall solar capacity by 2026. This figure is remarkable, considering that previous propositions quoted only about half as much.
On an annual basis, Brazil releases a 10-year Energy Expansion Plan proposition which looks at the country’s estimated development in the solar sector and gives a forecast for the figures that will be reached within a decade. Due to changes in both the government and EPE (Brazil’s energy agency), there was no proposition released last year, which is why the current one was eagerly awaited. It has now been revealed by EPE and the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and will be up for public consultation until early August.
Proposed figures topping previous forecasts by far
In previous PDE’s, an overall solar capacity of 7 GW had been proposed for 2024. Thus the current forecast – 13 GW by 2026 – seems very ambitious at first, but can be explained and broken down. Quite simply, the report features a reference scenario that results in the following figures: large-scale solar is expected to go up from just 21 MW in 2016 to almost 10 GW in 2016. Add to that another 3.5 GW of distributed generation PV, and the 13 GW mark will be crossed. As a result, EPE expects non-hydro renewables to make up roughly half of the country’s energy mix by 2026.
However, the government did not just look at this turn of events alone, but projected various situations. For example, under a scenario of significant reduction in investment costs for solar in the coming years, the government nearly doubles its annual deployment expectations from 1GW to about 1.8 GW from the year 2023 onwards. This change would bring additions of large-scale PV to a huge 10.5 GW just between the years 2020 to 2026.
Propositions play important role
Brazil is expected to reach 1 GW of solar capacity this year, and to more than double it in 2018. One reason why the propositions are usually eagerly anticipated is that they lead the path for forthcoming renewable energy auctions and / or possible new policies. In the medium term, the current PDE offers more clarity by forecasting a steady annual addition of 1 GW, which will probably benefir the PV supply chain. According to Rodrigo Sauaia, president of the Brazilian solar association ABsolar, “actual solar additions will depend on policy, regulations, taxation, financing availability and electricity prices in Brazil.“