Brazil's $1.5bn for RE innovation

Brazilian agencies have joined forces to offer local enterprises a R$3bn ($1.5bn) funding programme to boost innovative solar and wind projects.

Brazil’s state development bank BNDES, research finance agency Finep and energy watchdog Aneel will together select a range of projects to be backed between 2014 and 2017.

The Inova programme aims to generate expertise and develop technologies in areas such as purified solar-grade silicon, wafers, cells, thin-film PV, inverters and PV systems equipment.

Wind suppliers will also be able to finance their innovations. The Brazilian government is keen to develop home-grown turbines as well as towers, blades and nacelles.

The initiative also covers smart grid, ultra-high voltage transmission and electric vehicle development projects

Finep's energy and clean technologies analyst Caio Mazzi tells Recharge that there is no ceiling limit on project funding, with size and relevance the key factors.

“What matters is its innovation degree. Also, if we have more than R$3bn in projects, we will raise the funding,” he adds.

Argentine manufacturer Impsa – which is building its third facility in Brazil – was given an award under one of the country’s previous programmes, and last year launched its first fully Brazilian-produced wind turbine.

The project swallowed R$100m ($50m) handed out by Finep and took three years to complete.

The resulting IWP-100 turbine has a 2MW capacity and a 100-metre-diameter rotor.