Solar energy generation can lower electricity bills by 5.6% by 2031, says association

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A study points out that the growth of solar energy generation on roofs, facades and small plots should bring more than BRL 86.2 billion in new investments to the electricity sector in the next decade.

The consequence, according to the survey, would be a 5.6% reduction in the electricity bill by 2031, including for people who do not have their own solar system. The survey was carried out by the consultancy Volt Robotics, commissioned by the Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy (Absolar).

The Ten Year Energy Expansion Plan 2031 (PDE 2031), produced by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and the Energy Research Company (EPE), indicates that, by 2031, distributed solar generation will jump from the current 11 gigawatts of power. installed to approximately 37.2 GW.

As a result, Absolar estimates that the growth will bring the cost of electricity in the country cheaper by R$ 34 billion, passed on to consumers. In addition, the association predicts that the frequency of triggering the red flag in electricity tariffs should be reduced by about 60% by 2031.

In May, Brazil reached the mark of one million own systems installed on roofs and small plots. According to the vice president of Absolar, Bárbara Rubim, the advance of photovoltaic energy has already contributed to the country during the water crisis experienced in 2021, the worst in the last 90 years.

“When people generate their own energy, they help to save the hydroelectric reservoir. This means that the country uses fewer thermoelectric plants and, consequently, can generate less expenses. The benefit that own generation brings in this regard and in a scenario of water crisis that we have had in the last two years effectively cost the country R$28 billion”, says Bárbara.

“If we didn’t have any generation of our own in Brazil, this crisis we are going through now would have cost 41.6 billion reais. In other words, the cost of the drought would be 48% higher, because we would have had to reach many more thermoelectric plants than we had”, he defends.

How much does it cost to invest in solar energy?

For a house, the expense to install solar panels is around R$ 30 thousand. The average investment for a small business is BRL 69,000 and for installation in a large business it is around BRL 194,000, on average. The data are from Portal Solar, a franchisor for the sale and installation of photovoltaic panels.

Taking into account that the value of the electricity bill for a family of four in the country is, on average, R$500, the investment would be reversed (payback) in five years and five months.

The payback for installation in small businesses is four years and six months, and the payback for large businesses, on the national average, is up to four years and three months.

Rodolfo Meyer, CEO of Portal Solar, believes that inflation is a systemic issue in the world and, in most countries, fuel and electricity, driven by thermoelectric plants, are the main factors in the rise in prices.

According to him, the use of solar energy, in addition to being clean, helps the consumer’s pocket and could help reduce the country’s economic crisis. “In general, people use solar energy because, in the end, it ends up being more beneficial. We like to compare the panels as a financial investment.”

“You invest around BRL 25,000 in a product, but this will save you, in a year, around BRL 6,000 in a year, even without income tax. The more solar panel installed, the cheaper the bill. If it covered every house in the country, it would generate enough energy to cover twice Brazil’s consumption. That’s why the market has grown so much”, he says.

The evolution of the sector has also translated into the job market, according to the vice president of Absolar. “From 2012 to now, more than 500 thousand jobs have been created. The majority, 325,000, come from own energy generation. The projection is that we will have 747 thousand jobs generated by solar energy by the end of the year”.

“This generation of employment takes place throughout the chain involved. From the issue of logistics, purchase and sale of equipment, their production, the installation of this system and later the operation and maintenance of these plants”, he analyzes.

The association’s survey also points to an environmental benefit. According to the research, the growth of generation will bring a reduction, in the average scenarios, of 67 million tons of emission of greenhouse gases. The decrease in CO² emission into the atmosphere would be even greater in a scenario of a new water crisis and greater activation of thermoelectric plants (more expensive and polluting).

In this case, the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases would be 121 million tons of CO², as indicated by the entity. Currently, it is estimated that the reduction is 23.6 million tons of CO² emitted.

Minas Gerais is currently the state with the highest installed capacity of its own electricity generation systems on roofs, facades and small plots of land, responsible for 16.7% of the distributed generation installed in the country. Then come São Paulo (13.2%), Rio Grande do Sul (11.6%), Mato Grosso (6.6%) and Paraná (4.8%).

Regarding the municipalities, the largest installed powers of distributed generation are in Cuiabá (MT), Teresina (PI), Brasília (DF), Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Fortaleza (CE). According to data from the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) and from Absolar, the total power of the photovoltaic solar source corresponds to 7.8% of the Brazilian electricity matrix.

UFRJ energy planning professor Diego Malagueta points out that, although the Northeast region has more targeted and available areas, the concentration is centered on places that have a better quality of life and income.

“There is a change in the relationship of loads and flows between the Northeast and Southeast, which should be affected by the spread of distributed generation. The Northeast has enormous potential, but it has less purchasing power and expands at a lower rate than the Southeast. Today, the greatest concentration is where there is greater concentration of income (Minas Gerais, São Paulo). But there is also a relationship with the occupation of space. The expansion is not only related to income, but there are also spaces. It will not be in the capital of São Paulo, where you have few houses, but in the countryside where there is more space for this”, he highlights.

Source: CNN Brasil

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