Brazil banks snub PV finance

Brazilian state banks Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal have rejected calls to create a specific financing line for small-scale distributed solar projects, says a government agency.

Despite recent net-metering legislation, small-scale installations have yet to take off in Brazil, and the National Industry Development Agency (ABDI) believes lack of finance is the main reason for the lull in PV projects.

Eduardo Tosta, an energy specialist with ABDI, tried to convince the state banks to back an aggressive push to stimulate the market.

However, Tosta says the institutions claimed that it would be too expensive and problematic to create such financial products.

“After the net metering rule came out, the second step is to find a solution to finance the projects cheaply,” Tosta told a renewable energy conference held in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

This week, government officials and power distribution companies will gather to discuss how to boost micro-generation. The companies are in charge of technical arrangements to connect distributed generators into the grid.

An industry source claims distributors are not interested in promoting this market, as it threatens their own revenues. “They will have to create a news business model related to micro-generation to compensate for this potential loss”, the source told Recharge.

Brazil has only about 20MW of solar in place, most of it in the form of pilot or demonstrator projects. Distributed PV is being mostly developed in isolated areas, such as in the Amazon region.