Solar energy applications are mostly expressed in the way of producing electricity: either through Photo Voltaic cells or by Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) facilities. Another potential use of solar power, although yet in its early stages, consist in the split of the water molecule in order to obtain hydrogen fuel. Other significant applications of solar energy include heating solutions for home and industrial purposes.
We will focus on the production of electricity from our solar source, since it represents one of the most promising ways of producing energy coming from renewable sources. In fact, the demand of energy coming from solar sources has increased at the rate of 30% per year and. At the same time, we see the related cost and prices coming down and also the technology efficiency (of solar cells) increasing.
If we add up the absolute need to increase energy production coming from renewable sources, against the use of fossil based fuels, we see a window of opportunity for solar energy applications. Some projections estimate that we might run out of oil in 2045 and coal in 2159, but the main problem consist of the damage that this evolution will bring to earth’s natural environment. We might be driven to conclude that, before we run out of fossil fuels, we might be running out of earth.
WHY INVEST IN SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS
The total available solar energy resources (120.000 TW) are more than sufficient to supply our need for energy. Fossil fuels and nuclear energy could be replaced with less than 0,02% of available solar resources. In the economic aspect, the cost of fossil fuels keeps rising, while solar energy applications become more economically viable.
We have several facts that show an unquestionable tendency towards the need to increase energy production coming from renewable sources and solar stands out. And the market shows it: solar cell production increased by 50% in 2007, to 3,800 megawatts, and has been doubling every two years.
For the 7th year in a row, solar power with 57 % of total investment representing USD 113.7 billion (EUR 103.4 billion) took the largest share of new investments in renewable energies in 2016.
In 2016, PV industry production rose again by about 30 % and reached a worldwide production volume of more than 80 GW of PV modules. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last 15 years was above 40 %, which makes PV one of the fastest growing industries at present.
Annual new solar PV system installations increased from 29.5 GW in 2012 to 79.4 GW in 2016, driven by a shift to more large scale utility systems on the one hand and a worldwide reduction of PV system prices on the other side
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN BRAZIL
Brazil offers several attractive aspects regarding solar based energy applications and with domestic growth at high rates Ceara, in Northeast Brazil, has about 2.800 hours of solar irradiation per year, representing an average intensity of 5,4kWh/sq.mt/day.
Total solar radiation, in an yearly basis, falls within 1.500 and 2.300 kW/sq.mt.
Theoretically we have a potential of 2,25 MWH per hectare, in Ceará.
IIn addition, we find a unique business environment expressed via the new, government infrastructure investments.
Standing out the free trade zone (over 4.000 ha) in operation at the Port of Pecem, Ceara.
Projects can be co-developed with Brazilian developers and can encompass supply of PV products for the domestic market and for exportation. There is also the possibility do develop Solar Power Energy Producings units as soon as the regulamentary mark is delivered by public authorities, as the market is waiting for it.
Typically projects can be financed by BNDES the Brazilian development bank, providing debt financing at a level of 70%. Production from a 50,000 ha project is 100,000 tonnes of pellets per annum. Based upon such a project with an investment of R$50 (BRL) million, the estimated IRR is above 35%.
The PV Products Factory must be located at sites chosen to optimize logistics, near railways, with connections to ports and where employment is needed the most. Suggestion points out to Ceara free trade zone, near Porto do Pecém port.
There are two major players that can joint venture with solar power investors:
In addition to investment opportunities we also design tailor-made investment solutions in the form of individual mandates or specific investment strategies and their implementation.
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