Between 2013 and 2016, the Fundo Solar cooperation project was implemented in Brazil. Here, the Grüner Strom Label e.V., the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and other partners supported the installation of 40 photovoltaic systems. Based on the experience with Fundo Solar, the grid connection conditions were improved.
"Fundo Solar has made an active contribution to the energy transition in Brazil," sums up Rosa Hemmers, board member of Grüner Strom-Label e.V. and EURSOSOLAR. "The exchange of experience between local installers and the authorities has led to improved framework conditions for the approval procedures for connecting PV systems to the grid. And in recent years, ten times as many small-scale PV systems have been installed than were connected to the grid in 2013."
By the end of 2016, around 250,000 euros had been invested in the installation of a total of 128 kilowatts of peak PV capacity. Just under 20 percent of the money came from the Green Electricity Label's green electricity certification fund. However, the impact of Fundo Solar exceeded simple plant subsidies: based on a study conducted as part of the project, the Brazilian regulatory authority changed the grid connection conditions for PV plants with a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts peak.
"The project is an excellent example of close cooperation between German and Brazilian organizations," praises Markus Exenberger, who heads GIZ's energy program in Brazil. "This not only creates a fruitful transfer of knowledge and experience, but also promotes real change on the ground." GIZ and Instituto IDEAL have been working together to promote renewable energy in Brazil since as early as 2010. In 2013, together with Grüner Strom Label e.V., the three-year joint project Fundo Solar was launched.
Cooperation leads to improvement of legal framework
In addition to PV expansion, Fundo Solar also promoted the direct exchange of experience between local installers and the Brazilian regulatory authority ANEEL. In this way, problems could be identified and solutions for improving the grid connection procedure could be developed. As part of the project, GIZ conducted a corresponding study for small-scale PV systems. Up to now, a switching point with disconnection function that was accessible at all times was mandatory for such small systems. This made PV systems economically unviable and inhibited further expansion.
The working group's adaptation proposals were taken up by the Brazilian regulatory authority and the grid connection procedure was simplified. Both installation companies and leading utilities in Brazil welcome this change and the associated lower installation costs. Among other things, this has contributed to an accelerated expansion of small-scale PV installations in Brazil: in less than two years, the number of small-scale PV installations has increased from 1,000 to over 10,100.
Around 20 percent of the subsidies for financing the PV systems come from subsidies for green electricity certification with the Green Electricity Label. The green electricity label of the environmental associations guarantees that a fixed subsidy amount is invested in energy transition projects for each kilowatt hour consumed. As a rule, the subsidies flow into projects of local energy providers in Germany, but occasionally also into pilot projects abroad.
Photovoltaic system promoted by Fundo Solar with funds from the Green Electricity Certification (photo: Instituto Ideal).
Display with yield data, promoted with funds from the Green Electricity Certification (photo: Instituto Ideal).
Demonstration plant for the training of solar technicians, promoted with Green Electricity funds (photo: Instituto Ideal).
Completed PV system on a commercial building, promoted by Fundo Solar with funds from the Green Electricity Certification (photo: Instituto Ideal).
Inauguration of the training center for solar technicians, promoted with Green Electricity funds (photo: Instituto Ideal).
Tour of a Green Power-funded demonstration plant for training solar installers (photo: Instituto Ideal).