Brazil, the largest and most populated nation in South America, is much in the news recently with stories discussing wind power’s vast potential for growth, the sector’s increasingly robust supply chain and the need to lower generation costs.
According to a Renewable Energy World article published on Wednesday, wind power and other renewables are set to see their contribution to the country’s electricity supply increase from eight per cent to 16 per cent by 2020.
Wind power itself, the story continues, would supply seven per cent of the nation’s overall electricity supply by 2020, up from the one per cent the green sector supplies today.
“Despite its 9,650 km of Atlantic coastline and the fact that much of its northeast is blessed with some of the strongest and most consistent winds in the world, Brazil only reached 1 GW of wind power in May of this year,” the article said.
The story points out that although the nation’s Energy Research Company predicts wind power will account for 12 GW by 2020, it quoted Pedro Perrelli, executive director of the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, as saying he expects the total to reach 22 GW.
According to a posting on Tuesday by enelgreenpower.com, Brazil could become one of the most highly developed wind power markets within the next three years. That, in turn, would galvanise competition aimed at lowering generating costs.
The website reported that the last two national wind power tenders awarded contracts for over 1,900 MW.
“By using the mechanism known as reserved price auction, the average price agreed upon for the generated energy was $62/MWh, so that for the first time local wind generation will be lower than gas generation ($65/MWh),” the website said. “This cost is unprecedented worldwide, and according to several experts it proves the feasibility and cost effectiveness of wind energy.”
In another posting on Tuesday, by Ramon Fiestas, Director of the Global Wind Energy Council’s Latin America Committee, Brazil’s rapidly growing wind power industry and its accompanying supply chain are becoming firmly established.
Fiestas said the wind energy sector offered last year a varied production capacity across Brazil of more than 1,000 MW per annum.
“Rising industrial investment will significantly increase this capacity, and the sector aims to implement a manufacturing base capable of producing between 2.0 GW and 2.5 GW of wind power equipment per year,” Fiestas was quoted as saying.