Wind power is now enjoying a new phase of competitiveness in Brazil, with an additional R$ 40 billion in investments expected by 2020. This new phase, which began in 2009, has resulted in the procurement of 6.7 gigawatts (GW) of power, at a price of R$ 100 per megawatt/hour (MWh). The first investments in wind power in the country were made in 2004, with grants from the Alternative Electrical Energy Sources Incentive Program (Proinfa). The goal was to introduce new technologies and renewable forms of energy production, including small hydro power (SHP), biomass and wind power.
Wind power is the second most competitive form of such energy production in the country. “Today, wind power alone is not cheaper than large hydroelectric plants,” said Elbia Melo, President of the Brazilian Association of Wind Power (Abeeólica). Investment made by the wind power industry in all procurement auctions held in Brazil between 2004 and 2011 reached R$ 25 billion. The potential for wind power in the country amounts to 300 GW and is concentrated primarily in the Northeast and the South, and particularly in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará and Rio Grande do Sul. This figure was revised this year, based on the new technology that has been put in place. The first analysis, conducted in 2001, identified potential wind power generation in the order of 143 GW.
In June of this year, the wind power industry accounted for 2 GW of installed capacity of power generation, spread over 71 farms. By the end of 2016, the goal is to insert 8.4 GW of wind power on the national electric system, which would represent a 5.4% share in the Brazilian power grid, compared to the 1.5% share it currently represents. “It will continue to grow over time and by 2020, wind power should attain a 15% share, provided that we maintain this pace of procurement.” Around 2 GW per year is expected to be contracted at procurement auctions. The number of equipment manufacturers in the country has increased from only two in 2008 to 11 last year.
01 September 2012