Power generation from rooftop and small ground-based solar systems is booming in Brazil.
Distributed solar power generation has boomed in Brazil in recent years as home and business owners have installed photovoltaic panels to escape fast-rising electric-utility charges caused by drought-induced declines in the country’s hydroelectric supplies. Experts forecast the sector will grow even faster, at least temporarily, with the implementation of a law addressing distributed solar, which is the small-scale production of solar power where it’s used—typically homes and businesses. The law, which took effect on Jan. 7, sets rules for the electric-power credits that those who operate rooftop or small ground-based solar systems receive for the surplus energy they send to the grid, a process known as net-metering. Falling dam-reservoir levels caused by consecutive years of drought have put a crimp in power supplies in Brazil, where hydroelectric plants account for 63% of installed power-generation capacity. Greater reliance on relatively costly... [Log in to read more]