On the 27th of December, the Pernambuco government promoted Brazi’s first solar energy auction. Pernambuco contracted six projects, from companies in Germany, Italy, China, Spain and Brazil, to install panels and generate energy in the inland areas of the state. The government estimates there will end up being almost R$600 million in investments made. In all, these projects add up to 122 megawatts of energy. This means the state will generate six times more energy than that which is produced currently in all of Brazil. According to Mauro Passos, president of the Ideal Institute, that promotes solar power, the auction was good news. “This auction came at a good time. I believe that taking on this initiative does great credit to Pernambuco”, he said.
The government’s idea is to transform inland Pernambuco in a hub of Brazilian solar power. But even with the auction’s success, solar energy is still far from becoming reality in Brazil. A comparison with wind energy shows the difference: while the solar-based auction was for megawatts, a similar auction for wind energy was contracted for gigawatts. Currently, wind energy is one of the most competitive kinds in the country – aside from not polluting like thermoelectric, it’s also a lot cheaper.
With the Pernambucan initiative, the sector is already starting to get an idea of the price for solar power. The costs are still higher than those of wind power, but the prospects are good. With the increase in production and the increase in scale, photovolaic panels will become cheaper. “Of all the different kinds, solar power is the one with the most potential. Its moment will come, it’s just a question of time”, says Passos. [1, 2, & 3 with video, PT]