Can Solar Save Brazil?

brazil flag green 800x560 Can Solar Save Brazil?

The newest project from world-leading solar module maker Yingli Green Energy is a 1-megawatt installation at Brazil’s Arena Pernambuco soccer stadium, the site of five upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup matches.

Built by Brazilian solar pioneer Grupo Neoenergia, the net-metered system is in the solar-supportive state of Pernambuco’s capital, Recife. The 3,650 monocrystalline panels will generate more than 1,500 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. Power not consumed by the stadium will go to the local community.

Brazil’s solar market is “just taking off,” according to Adam James, GTM Research Solar Analyst for Global Demand. James is readying the 2Q 2014 update of GTM Research’s Latin America PV Playbook, which projects that Brazil’s 2013 installed capacity of 38.6 megawatts will nearly double to 72.6 megawatts this year.

“But unlike many of the other leading Latin American solar markets such as Mexico and Chile,” James said, “there appears to be no ceiling on Brazil’s potential growth over the long term. Companies like Yingli can think not just in terms of what they can do over the next five years, but what they can do over the next ten, twenty, or 30 years.”

The Latin American solar market does not represent a large percentage of Yingli’s global market share, said International Sales VP Jeff Barnett, “but it is the fastest-growing segment.”

Yingli’s conservative internal figures, which are “a triangulation of announced numbers and estimates, a lot of science and a little art,” Barnett said, show it leading the Brazil market “with north of 30 percent of all modules shipped.”

As part of Yingli’s move to build a brand in Brazil’s emerging market, it joined international icons like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Visa, and Sony as a sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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