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Brazil’s PV module demand reached almost 5 GW in 2020

According to a recent report from Brazilian consultancy Greener, the country imported 4.76 GW last year. Domestic PV module makers had a 3.8% market share with around 190 MW in shipped modules. The analyst also revealed that prices for distributed generation PV systems rose by 20% in 2020.

Photovoltaic module demand reached 4,950 MW in Brazil last year, according to a new report from Brazil-based consultancy Greener.

The company’s analysts reported that panel imports totaled 4,760 MW and domestic products accounted for 190 MW – which represents around 3.8% of the total market share. For comparison, in 2019, module imports reached 4,134 MW and domestic products totaled 139 MW.

Modules

The report also revealed that around 32% of the shipped modules employed monocrystalline PERC cell technology while this percentage a year earlier, stood at less than 10%. Polycrystalline PERC panels reached a 24% share, while for mono and poycrystalline standard modules, this percentage stood at 24% and 20%, respectively.

Canadian Solar, Trina Solar and Risen were the three largest providers last year, with shipments of 926 MW, 824 MW and 797 MW, respectively. Canadian Solar owns and operates a solar module factory in Sao Paulo and modules produced locally benefit from low-interest-rate financing from Brazil’s development banks. Chinese battery and module maker BYD, which also operates a panel manufacturing facility in Brazil, was the fifth largest provider, with 526 MW of shipped modules, behind Jinko, which sold products with a combined capacity of 526 MW in Brazil last year.

Inverters

Inverter shipments last year reached 4,900 MW, with 1,449 MW being shipped in the fourth quarter alone. A year earlier, total inverter shipments had totaled 3.48 GW.

The largest provider was China-based Sungrow, with 651 MW, followed by Chinese inverter maker Growatt, with 467 MW; and Austria’s Fronius, with 456 MW. Particularly strong growth was registered in the segment of devices with capacities below 50 kW, Greener said in the report.

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Increasing prices

The report added, PV system prices in the distributed generation segment grew by 20% last year, due to the strong devaluation of the real and high logistical costs. In the previous years, instead, these prices have been decreasing constantly.

The average cost of a 4 kW project, for example, rose from BRL3.17/Wp ($0.58) in January 2020 to BRL3.30/Wp in January this year.

For a 50 kW system, the price grew from BRL2,49/Wp, to BRL2.72 while for a 1 MW installation, the bill increased from BRL2.34/Wp, to BRL2.55.

The Brazilian government is supporting distributed generation through Convention 16/15 (Convenio ICMS 16/2015), which exempts the owners of solar systems with a generation capacity of up to 1 MW from paying the ICMS state sales tax under a net metering regime open to projects no larger than 5 MW.

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Source: pv magazine