Brazil to Issue Regulations Supporting Solar Energy, Aneel Says

Brazil, which has a single utility-scale solar plant, will issue within two weeks a pair of regulations designed to promote the use of power generated from sunshine, the country’s electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica said.

The two-pronged policy push offers tax breaks to utilities and will let consumers and businesses sell electricity generated from renewable sources to the grid, according to Ivan Marques de Toledo Camargo, Aneel’s director of regulation for distribution services.

Brazil has organized power auctions that made wind power cheaper than energy generated from fossil fuels and is the world’s second-largest ethanol producer. The country is now seeking to boost the use of solar energy, Camargo said.

“Brazil is supporting solar a lot,” he said today at a conference in Campinas, Brazil. “We’re clarifying the rules. The market will determine how much solar energy will be developed.”

Under the new regulations, utilities will be eligible for an 80 percent discount on taxes paid for distributing electricity generated by large solar projects.

A net-metering regulation will permit homeowners and businesses to feed electricity generated by systems such as rooftop solar panels into the power grid.

The amount these systems produce will be subtracted from the power consumed by their owners, who will be billed only for the difference, Camargo said.

The country’s only large-scale solar farm is a 1 megawatt plant in Taua, in the northeastern state of Ceara, operated by Rio de Janeiro-based MPX Energia SA.