ENGIE is recording growth of 53% over the target set for the distributed solar energy segment and is closing 2018 with more than 2,000 installations in Brazil. Plans are already afoot for 2019 to double its share of the distributed energy market. The focus will be on the corporate market represented by industries, commerce and agribusiness.
The company’s performance is running in parallel with the expansion in the Brazilian distributed energy segment which has seen significant growth from 20 thousand installations in January 2018 to more than 49 thousand in January this year. The tendency for 2019 and for the next few years is growth based on the speed with which solar systems have spread nationwide, the country having just a single system in operation six years ago.
“The barrier of distrust with the technology has already been broken down, installation costs have fallen significantly and we have seen how energy tariff hikes are all factors transforming photovoltaic solar technology into one of the main options for those seeking a durable, sustainable and economic solution”, explains Rodrigo Kimura, executive director of ENGIE’s distributed solar energy area. “So as the market grows, the technology consolidates, revealing itself to be more and more reliable. Today, solar energy has become a desirable commodity in itself”, he concludes.
In 2019, ENGIE will unveil a new way of offering energy: pay solar energy. The pilot project begins in January with the installation of a 2.6 MW photovoltaic plant in the municipality of Pompéo, in the central region of the state of Minas Gerais. With this project, the company will serve 100 users, all exclusively corporate entities. Participation will be consolidated through an agreement after which the new member of ENGIE’s solar community will begin to enjoy the energy produced remotely from their own solar panels making up the full panel array at the plant.
Focus on the corporate segment
Special attention will be dedicated to the corporate segment by the company. In 2018, the mini and micro photovoltaic installations implemented for industries, commerce and service companies reported excellent performance, both in the number of plants as well as the total installed capacity, substantially exceeding the forecasts originally estimated by the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL). The Brazilian distributed solar generation market is working on the basis of ANEEL’s projection of reaching 886,700 installations by 2024.
Growth in the use of distributed solar energy commercially is being driven by the possibility of reducing the cost of energy output which the technology offers. Each concessionaire has its own policy, but on average, the cost of electricity has risen about 500% over the past six years according to Ministry of Mines and Energy data. Solar energy frees the consumer from the impacts of increases, because on acquiring a photovoltaic system, he can always count on the amount of contracted energy at a fixed cost without being subject to increases. “Corporate entities are constantly endeavoring to improve their processes and in distributed solar energy they see an interesting alternative for accessing energy from a renewable source and at a low cost”, says Kimura.
Growth is also a reflection of incentive schemes led by ENGIE, such as the Solar Industry Program, launched by FIESC in 2017, enrollments in the state of Santa Catarina already having reached 2,816. Of these 692 are companies and 2,124 are interested in installing photovoltaic systems in their homes. In 2018, the Program was also adopted by federations in the states of Mato Grosso (FIEMT) and Rio Grande do Sul (FIERGS).
In 2018, the “Solar Supermarkets” program also came into its own – a unique initiative in the segment and developed by ENGIE in partnership with the Santa Catarina Supermarkets Association (Associação Catarinense de Supermercados-ACATS). The first solar installation within the scope of the program was rolled out in 2018 by Rede Vipi in the city of São Miguel do Oeste.