Brazil Imports 17.5 GW of Solar Modules in 2023

Solar PV module imports fell slightly in 2023 from 2022 – which was a record year


Brazil imported 17.5 GW of photovoltaic (PV) modules in 2023, representing a 1.7% decline compared to the previous record year, according to Sao Paulo-based research firm Greener. The slight decline in 2023 import numbers indicates a stabilization in Brazil’s solar energy market after a breakneck 70% growth in 2022.

Of the 17.5 GW of solar modules imported in 2023, distributed generation represented 11.4 GW of imports or 65%. This was down 2 GW from 2022 when distributed generation accounted for 75% of total solar module imports.

The volume directed to the distributed generation market remained high, mainly driven by shared generation projects to serve small and medium consumers, with a notable increase in individual participation in this model.

The fourth quarter of 2023 saw imports reaching over 5 GW, the highest quarterly volume ever, according to Greener, with about 74% of this volume directed towards distributed generation.

Moreover, Brazil witnessed an acceleration in imports of PV modules in the last months of 2023. The country imported about 4 GW from China in November and December, and as some of these modules have not yet arrived on Brazilian shores, they will be reflected in the first quarter of 2024.

However, retail sales, representing small residential and commercial installations, saw a 60% decline in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The retraction was driven, among other factors, by macroeconomic aspects such as difficulties in accessing credit and high-interest rates.

Brazil’s solar market in 2023

The country closed the year with 2.3 million solar photovoltaic systems installed.

Large, distributed generation projects accounted for 4.2 GW of projects in operation and/or under construction in 2023, indicating progress compared to the 2.3 GW in 2022. Additionally, the distributed generation market expanded by over 8 GW in total network capacity, which currently exceeds the 26 GW in installed solar power.

Centralized generation, too, witnessed rapid growth in 2023. Large solar parks added 4 GW to the national electricity grid, compared to 2.8 GW in 2022. The year ended with an accumulated installed capacity of 11.4 GW of centralized photovoltaic solar power and 7 GW of solar projects under construction expected to come online during 2024 and 2025.

Currently, solar energy in the South American country accounts for more than 38 GW of the overall electricity generation mix, representing just over 16.5%.

Overall, renewable sources accounted for 83.64% of the 193.9 GW of power generated in Brazil between January and June in 2023, according to data released by the country’s National Electric Energy Agency.

According to a report by Wood Mackenzie, South America is expected to add about 41.2 GW of onshore wind projects by 2032, with Brazil expected to account for 23 GW and 56% of the overall growth.