Strategic observation

Interview: Chinese investment in Brazil's solar power sector is very important, says industry leader

2018-09-14 18:17:12 (Beijing Time)         English.news.cn

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SAO PAULO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese investment is very important for Brazil's burgeoning solar energy sector, according to an industry leader.

The Brazilian photovoltaic solar power industry can serve as a springboard for Chinese companies looking to expand in Latin America, said Rodrigo Sauaia, CEO of the Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (ABSolar).

What makes Brazil's solar power industry attractive is that it is poised to grow with an expansion plan from now to 2030, he said.

The goal is to generate some 30 gigawatts (GW) of energy from the sun, a target that will require 12 years of substantial investment in the field, Sauaia has told Xinhua at his office in Sao Paulo.

Last year, the industry generated 1.1 GW, and this year it is expected to generate 2.4 GW, enough to power 1 million middle-class households.

"Chinese investment in photovoltaic solar power is very important to the development of projects and manufacturing, because China is a model and Brazil has much to learn about the sector," said Sauaia.

Today, at least 20 Chinese firms are operating in Brazil's solar segment, where they have all the conditions to transform themselves into the industry standard in Latin America, said Sauaia.

PV solar power currently accounts for barely 1 percent of Brazil's renewable energy output, while hydroelectric plants provide 60 percent while wind farms generate 7.5 percent.

"For us this is a very interesting figure, because the photovoltaic solar power scene is going to change in a few years," he said.

A typical Brazilian household that makes the switch by installing rooftop solar panels will begin to see the cost benefits after four to seven years, estimates Sauaia.

But the savings will be substantial, with energy bills falling up to 80 percent, he said.

Nine out of 10 Brazilians want to power their homes with renewable energy and photovoltaic solar energy, said Sauaia, citing a survey made by Brazilian polling firm IBOPE Intelligence.