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Latin America Report: Brazil Planning Push for Solar Energy?

Brazil has long been a leader in the production of ethanol. In the past few years, it has laid the groundwork to becoming an international force in wind energy. But the country has been a non-player in the solar industry with just one 1 MW solar project under its belt. Now, the state government appears to be ready to make a major investment in the solar industry.

According to Bloomberg News, Brazil’s state-run energy agency is set to introduce two significant policies that would allow utilities to receive tax breaks for large-scale projects and would let businesses and consumers sell electricity back into the grid.

“Brazil is supporting solar a lot,” agency official Ivan Marques de Toledo Camargohe told reporters at a news conference. “We’re clarifying the rules. The market will determine how much solar energy will be developed.”

The nation has already indicated that solar will be a major component of the World Cup soccer tournament in 2014, with large installations powering stadiums across the country.


IN THE NEWS

Vestas Wins 396-MW Order: Vestas has long been a leader in promoting the link between renewable energy and consumers. Now it appears two of the world’s most recognizable beverage companies — Coca Cola and Heineken — will be major customers of a 396-MW wind farm planned in Mexico.

Enel Targets Latin America Market: Italy’s largest utility, will steer investments into Latin America and renewable energy as recession damps electricity demand in its biggest market.

Dia Bras Sells Hydropower Assets In Peru: Canadian mining company Dia Bras Exploration Inc. has completed the sale of its hydroelectric assets to Volcan Compania Minera S.A.A. via its Peruvian subsidiary Sociedad Minera Corona S.A.

A First for South America: Chile took a leading position this week in the run for more sustainable commercial aviation in South America with a one-hour flight from Santiago to Concepción using biofuel.

Wind Plant in Brazil: GE plans to build a $35 million plant in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia to assemble wind turbines as the market for wind power surges in the South American country. The plant is expected to be built during the next six to 12 months.

AWS Truepower Looks Toward Argentina: AWS Truepower announced a $1 million joint venture with Aires Renewables to identify and quantify the wind and solar resources in the San Juan province of Argentina.


FOCUS ON CHILE

Chile Considers Bill to Boost Renewable Energy: High costs of energy due to a severe drought that has severely impaired hydro power plants coupled with restrictions in the capacity of transmission systems has once again put renewable energy in the sight of authorities as a way to decrease reliance of hydro and coal-based electricity.

First Solar looks to Chile: Former Enron executive James Hughes will lead First Solar’s shift in business strategy toward unsubsidized emerging PV markets, such as Chile.

Wind Farm Proposed in Chile: Ecoingenieros is seeking permits to build a 40-MW wind farm in the southern part of the country. The $80 million project would include 20 wind turbines and will be under consideration until the end of May.

Geothermal Plant Proposed in Chile: Spa Chile has filed an environmental impact declaration for a 70-MW geothermal power plant in San Gregorio between the country's Bio Bio and Araucania regions.


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