NewEnergyNews: TROUBLE IN THE WIND IN BRAZIL

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    Friday, September 07, 2012

    TROUBLE IN THE WIND IN BRAZIL

    First signs of trouble in the wind in the Brazilian market; It is getting harder to make money from wind energy in Brazil. Developers are being held back by their own inexperience, a poor exchange rate and heavy demands on the construction industry.

    Christiana Sciaudone, August 30, 2012 (ReCharge)

    “…[M]any things in Brazil…are troubling the wind industry…The low tariffs being paid at regulated tenders — in the realm of R$100 ($50) per MWh at the last one in December — have guaranteed that developers will have to work with extremely tight margins…[and] some projects…[may] not make it…

    “Electricity rates have dropped so low partly as a result of strong competition among turbine manufacturers, which have cut prices to record levels, combined with new, inexperienced developers desperate to get a foot in the door [that proposed projects may not be viable]…”

    “At the same time, the national currency, the real, which hit a high of R$1.58 to the US dollar in August 2011 — now averages more than R$2, meaning that costs will rise for turbine makers that are dependent on imported products…Manufacturers that have pushed prices as low as they can go may be able to pass those extra costs on to developers; if not, many may not survive.

    “Another factor is a suspicion that developers [claiming 60 percent capacity factors] have been exaggerating…But some resources, like those in Bahia state, appear to be as good as they claim, and prices ought to rebound from the current lows…”

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