Wind power taking off, industry seeks long-term policy

Wind power deployment in Brazil is set to exceed 5 GW by 2013, a five-fold increase from the current installed capacity, according to a study undertaken by the Global Wind Energy Council in cooperation with the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica), with support from the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).
Wind power taking off, industry seeks long-term policy

The Summary Report ‘Analysis of the regulatory framework for wind power generation in Brazil’ published this month shows that current efforts of the Brazilian government to tap into the country’s vast wind power potential are bearing fruit, but that a long-term specific policy framework for wind power is required to sustain investment in the sector.

Brazil currently has 1,120 MW of installed wind power capacity in 55 wind farms, mostly located in the eastern coastal states of the country. In addition, several energy auctions held since 2009 have added 5,175 MW of projects contracted by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, which would bring to country’s wind power installations up to more than 7,200 MW by 2014 and attract more than $12 billion in investment.

“The current pipeline for wind power projects looks very healthy,” said Ricardo Simões, President of ABEEólica.

“International experience has shown that long-term investor certainty is key for developing and sustaining a market for wind power,” said Ramon Fiestas, Director of GWEC’s Latin American Committee and author of the study. ”The positive outcome of the auctions and the competitiveness of wind power need to be reflected in Brazil’s future electricity planning. This clearly justifies a more determined approach by the government to set ambitious long-term targets for wind power development, specific policy measures and infrastructure investments, to ensure a sustainable growth of the industry and its supply chain.”

This study presented today evaluates the effects of the regulatory approaches to date, analyses the market and the industry, pinpoints remaining obstacles and challenges, and provides recommendations for legislative improvements. These recommendations include key issues such as the need for long-term targets and a specific policy framework for wind power, a tax regime to incentivise investment, grid access for wind farms, an upgrade of the power infrastructure and efficient administrative procedures for environmental impact assessment.

“This is a truly comprehensive study” notes Marianne Osterkorn, Director General of REEEP, “and we are optimistic that it can help spur the long-term planning process for the wind industry in Brazil.”

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