Brazil to retain wind subsidy

Brazil's Congress has agreed to retain wind power incentives after lobbying by industry leaders, a decision that would reverse a recent decision by a committee there that voted to eliminate them .

A vote is likely as early as Monday.

Led by the Brazilian Wind Power Association (Abeeolica), industry leaders say they persuaded lawmakers to maintain a 50% discount on transmission and distribution fees for power generated from wind farms.

Lawmakers had removed the discount in a bill claiming that wind power was already competitive and didn't need incentives.

“I spoke to representatives from four states and companies to help organize how this could be overturned,”says Rafael Valverde, energy affairs advisor to the Bahia state government's industry secretariat.

Abeeolica's executive president, Élbia Melo,  says without the subsidy, wind power prices would rise to around R$150/MWh ($68/MWh), up from current levels around R$120/MWh.

She says the subsidy should be reinstated at commission comprised of lawmakers from both houses on 1 July before going for a vote.