Expansion of wind power in Brazil

Brazil has 427 wind farm projects totaling 15.4 GW of installed capacity under development, according to data from power regulator Aneel.

Of that total – which includes plants with power already contracted – 178 wind power projects with 6.6 GW are being built, while 249 have not yet started work.

There are 185 projects with 6.5 GW in Bahia, 138 with 5GW in Rio Grande do Norte, 38 with 1.75 GW in Piauí, 37 with 1.24 GW in Paraíba, 20 with 669 MW in Ceará, six with 231 MW in Pernambuco and three with 52.5 MW in Rio Grande do Sul.
There are 833 projects in operation, totaling 22GW of installed capacity, with Rio Grande do Norte (221 parks/6.7GW) and Bahia (229/6.1GW) being the main players.
The numbers refer only to onshore wind projects, as offshore wind power has not yet been regulated in Brazil.

According to the local wind energy association Abeeólica, Brazil ranks sixth worldwide in installed wind power capacity, having supplied 72 TWh of energy to 86.4 million inhabitants in 2021.

“The prospects for wind energy are very good, mainly due to the projects that are being closed in the free market,” said the president of Abeeólica, Elbia Gannoum.

According to her, by 2026, Brazil will have 37 GW, considering only the contracts already signed. “This shows the strength of the Brazilian market, which should still grow more, despite the cost pressure of this current period.”

The industry does not expect large contracts in regulated market auctions this year.

“On the other hand, the free market continues to grow systematically, given the growing concern of companies with the energy transition and plans to consume only renewable energy,” said Gannoum.

Paula Suanno, director of business development and regulatory affairs at Statkraft, also believes demand at regulated auctions will be low.

“The current context of restricted transmission margin for new projects intensifies competition in these auctions and indicates a greater need to offer low offers to guarantee connection, regardless of the risk of economic infeasibility at the time of implementation,” she told BNamericas.

Suanno highlighted that the high levels of interest rates and inflation have a direct impact on the new capex project, but have not been reflected, so far, in increases in the prices of contracts in the free and regulated market.

“This imbalance represents a significant risk for investors,” she said, adding that the current scenario encourages innovation and the search for new technologies to make new wind projects viable.