More than 2,300 people joined us in Rio for Brazil Windpower 2014 from 26-28 August, the fifth edition of the event hosted by ABEE√≥lica, CanalEnergia and GWEC at Rio de Janeiro's Sul Am√©rica congress center. 100 companies exhibited on the busy 2,000 square metres of show floor - lots of deal-making as suppliers scramble to fulfil both market demand and the new ‚ÄòFINAME‚Äô rules from the BNDES - required in order to access the most readily available source of reasonably priced finance.
Attendance at both the conference and exhibition were up on last year, and a packed opening session was followed by two days of intense debate over the next set of issues facing the industry. A new feature of the event this year was the 2-day parallel O&M seminar, a topic which plays a more and more important role in this rapidly maturing market.
Brazil is in some ways, albeit on a smaller scale, something like China in the last decade: growing so quickly that new issues emerge all the time. For the last year or two transmission had been high or the agenda, as the mismatched timing between the build out of wind projects and the necessary transmission links was a major issue - it still is, as there are around 900 MW of projects still without connection. However, with a new auction system for transmission in place, a solution is in sight, and most of the 900 MW is expected to be connected by year end.
Which is a good thing, as building is going on quickly. ABEE√≥lica‚Äôs Executive President Elbia Melo wheeled out a ‚Äú5 GW cake‚Äô, to celebrate the fact that total installed capacity had just broken the 5 GW mark, up from about 3.5 GW at year end 2013; and if all goes according to plan, that total will exceed 7 GW by the end of the year, representing 100% cumulative growth, which is not something often seen, other than in China in the period from 2005-2010.
Mark Brazil Windpower 2015 in your agenda from 1-3 September 2015 to get another full update on the state of the market and the changing challenges and opportunities!