Developments in the South American market, particularly in Brazil, have created such a buzz that it will play host to Intersolar’s first South America Summit in São Paulo in August 2012. Countries in the region are seeing dramatic increases in energy consumption of up to 30% per year, chiefly as a result of industrial development. At the same time, in nations such as Brazil, solar power is currently on the brink of grid parity.

Countries including Ecuador and Argentina have already established feed-in tariffs for solar power, and there are even several large-scale photovoltaic projects that attest to this new approach – for instance the newly completed installation on the Pituaçu soccer stadium in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, which has a capacity of 408kW. In Brazil, the Electricity Regulatory Agency (Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica, ANEEL) created its first incentive scheme for operators of private and commercial photovoltaic power plants.

A net metering system is being introduced for operators of plants with a capacity of up to 1MW. In this payment system the electricity consumed is offset against the power generated, leaving only the difference to be paid. Operators of large-scale installations are also set to benefit from the agency's new policy.

Questions now commanding the spotlight surround how signals from the Brazilian government will impact on the industry and what potential the market holds for the future. Currently, in Brazil, energy producers are required to pay fees for using the power grid. Large-scale plants with capacities of up to 30MW will soon benefit from discounts of between 50 and 80% on the usual tariffs. The Berlin-based German Energy Agency (dena) announced this in late April, citing the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL).

International companies who wish to familiarize themselves with the South American market are invited to attend in order to find out more about the political framework, the latest technologies and organizations involved in the industry. Company representatives, scientists and politicians from South America will able to learn, first-hand which technologies and political strategies have proven successful internationally and which of them might be applied in their region. Click here to register and for more information.