The South America solar rooftop market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period. Factors such as the government policies that drive the rooftop solar installation, along with increased awareness towards environmental concerns are expected to drive the rooftop solar market during the forecast period. Moreover, a reduction in the cost of producing photovoltaic panels and the demand for uninterrupted power supply is expected to augment the market. However, the high cost of electricity storage and the high initial cost of investment for setting up solar PV in rooftops is expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
- Commercial rooftop is one of the largest segment under the rooftop solar market in South America, that are used to generate electricity for commercial purpose. Apart from residential rooftop solar photovoltaic installations, commercial and industrial rooftop installations are expected to grow with smart city initiatives.
- Due to increasing blackouts in the country leading to electricity crisis and increasing demand for continuous power, several opportunities are expected for the market players in South America to fill-in the supply and demand gap.
- Brazil is expected to be the largest market for rooftop solar in the region, owing to country’s aim to increase its solar generation to 7 GW capacity. In addition, Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) is expecting to invest USD 2.5 billion in solar development from 2018.
Key Market Trends
Commercial Segment to be the Largest Market
- South America witnessed a significant jump in its total installed solar capacity, which went up to 6.46 GW in 2019 from 0.9 GW in 2015. Brazil and Chile are the major contributors to the region’s solar capacity increase.
- The solar energy market in Brazil is on the rise due to the increasing demand for electricity. Furthermore, the falling costs of solar power modules coupled with the government initiatives to increase renewable shares in the total energy mix, are driving the solar power market in the country.
- To increase the power generation from renewable sources, the Argentinian government launched the RenovAr Program. Through which the country also offers a subsidy for solar projects, with a feed-in tariff of USD 0.11 per kWh for facilities of up to 30MW. This is expected to encourage the consumers in the commercial segment to install solar PV generators on the rooftop.
- Moreover, rooftop solar systems generate electricity during the daylight, coinciding with the peak hours of most factory operations. Hence, while the sun is out, manufacturing facilities have the option to either limit their dependence on the national grid or abandon it completely. Hence, with increased use of rooftop solar PV modules, the market is largest during the forecast period.
Brazil to be Dominate the Market
- Brazil is one of the most advanced countries in South America, with respect to the development of renewable energies. The country has excellent levels of solar radiation, as it is in a latitude range, in which the incidence of solar radiation is much higher than in the rest of the world.
- The solar power energy picked pace from 2017, with total capacity increasing by more than 100% and reaching 2.4 GW, in 2019. Overall, Brazil’s solar power sector has experienced a decent growth with its economic recovery since 2017, and it may lead to the regional market in the future.
- Furthermore, to increase the share of solar energy in the energy mix, the country aims to invest USD 25 billion by 2030, thereby offering growth opportunities for solar module manufacturers globally, in turn driving the solar rooftop market in the country.
- Moreover, Enel has installed a photovoltaic plant, consisting of 1,800 solar panels, for self-generation on the rooftop of the Mercado Livre headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In addition to the economic savings, the rooftop solar plant, which measures 7000 m2, reduces the site’s CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 100 tonnes a year, the equivalent of planting 560 trees.
- With the aim to reduce barriers related to incorporation of distributed solar power, the country has introduced new rules related to net metering program. The new rules provide consumers to set up small-scale power generators of up to 5MW, to offset their electricity bills with credits from the energy they provide to the grid.
- Therefore, with multiple benefits to the country with rooftop solar installations, market is expected to be driven during the forecast period.
The South America rooftop solar market is moderately consolidated. Some of the key players are Enel SPA, First Solar Inc., Canadian Solar Inc., JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd, and Trina Solar Limited.
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