The potential of photovoltaic energy in Brazil

Photovoltaics (PV) plays a fundamental role in the Brazilian electricity sector, contributing to a more sustainable energy matrix and customer savings. With a vast territory and abundance of solar resources, Brazil has enormous potential to generate photovoltaic energy, making this source a central piece in the transition towards a cleaner and renewable energy matrix.
One of the main advantages of photovoltaic plants is their ability to complement other renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric energy, which has historically been the main source of electricity in Brazil. In periods of drought, when the water reservoirs of hydroelectric plants are low, solar energy can come into play, ensuring a stable supply of electricity and reducing the need to resort to non-renewable energy sources, such as gas or thermoelectric plants. coal.
Furthermore, UFVs play an important role in diversifying Brazil’s energy matrix, reducing dependence on energy sources subject to climatic variations, such as hydroelectric plants, and increasing the country’s energy security. This is crucial to ensure a stable electricity supply and avoid potential supply crises in the future.

From an economic point of view, photovoltaic plants offer a series of benefits both for consumers and for the economy as a whole. Firstly, the operation and maintenance costs of UFVs are relatively low, since sunlight is an abundant and free source of energy. This translates into lower electricity costs for consumers, allowing them to save on their energy bills in the long term. According to the International Energy Agency, by the end of 2024, the supply of energy generated by solar panels will reach 1,100 gigawatts globally.
From construction and installation to plant operation and maintenance, solar energy creates jobs in a variety of sectors, including engineering, manufacturing, construction and services. This not only boosts the local economy, but also contributes to the creation of a qualified workforce specialized in renewable energy.

Another economic benefit of photovoltaic plants is the potential to attract investment and encourage the growth of the renewable energy sector in Brazil. With a favorable energy policy and incentives for the development of solar projects, the country can attract domestic and foreign investment, creating an environment conducive to innovation and sustainable growth of the sector.
A recent study shows that, from 2012 to 2023, investments in solar photovoltaic systems totaled around R$ 130.7 billion. In total, around 780.1 thousand jobs were created during the period. Businesses in the area generated R$ 39.2 million of income destined to public coffers, according to the Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (Absolar).
Brazil closed 2023 in sixth place in the world ranking of operational solar energy capacity with 37.4 GW, according to a report published by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency). The country, which rose two positions in the global balance, was only behind China (609.3 GW), the United States (137.7 GW), Japan (87.1 GW), Germany (81.7 GW) and India (72.7 GW). Completing the top 10 are Australia (33.6 GW), Italy (29.8 GW), Spain (28.7 GW) and South Korea (27 GW).

For this reason, photovoltaic plants play a crucial role in the Brazilian electricity sector, contributing to a more sustainable energy matrix and customer savings. With their potential to complement other renewable energy sources, diversify the energy matrix, reduce electricity costs and generate jobs and investments, solar plants are a fundamental piece in the construction of a cleaner, safer and more economical energy future for Brazil.

Antônio Terra, founder of ForGreen, a company specialized in solar energy systems and owner of photovoltaic plants.