German Climate Technology Initiative: concentrating solar power in Brazil (completed)

Project description

Title: Concentrating Solar Power in Brazil
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) 
Country: Brazil 
Lead executing agency: Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI)
Overall term: 2013 to 2018


As an emerging economy with growing international influence, Brazil is determined to use its innovation policy to promote socially, economically and environmentally sustainable growth. Furthermore, the Brazilian Government is seeking reliable, low-carbon options to diversify its energy matrix. To this end, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) has launched a National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (ENCTI). The ministry is actively promoting concentrated solar power (CSP) because it is a technology that combines the advantages of an energy source that is both climate-friendly and controllable.

CSP is still in its infancy in Brazil, but it has the potential to bring economic progress and at the same time be environmentally sustainable, particularly in the north-east of the country which is structurally weak but has plenty of sunshine. With a 1-MWel pilot plant in the state of Pernambuco, MCTI is laying the foundation for research and development on CSP.

MCTI is seeking international exchange and experience-based knowledge to turn the Brazilian Government’s bourgeoning interest in CSP technology into a firm component of the country’s innovation policy. Furthermore, the legislative framework needs to be developed to enable future innovations to be put into practice.

GIZ and KfW Development Bank are working together in the German Climate Technology Initiative to disseminate innovative German technologies and promote climate change mitigation worldwide.


The conditions for developing and disseminating concentrated solar power (CSP) in Brazil have been created.


On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ and KfW Development Bank are supporting the Brazilian partner institutions in disseminating CSP technology and getting commercial CSP plants off the ground. To achieve this goal, a number of fields of action have been agreed with the project partners:

  • Legislative framework. Legislation needed to promote CSP technologies is being developed in cooperation with institutions in the energy sector involved in various aspects of regulation, such as the Energy Planning Agency (EPE), the Regulatory agency (ANEEL), the Environment Ministry (MMA) and the Industry Ministry (MDIC). The focus includes energy planning methods that integrate CSP, energy auctions, technical regulation, environmental licensing and taxation of imported plant components. All stakeholders are participating in drafting a national CSP road map, designed to provide guidance for future CSP developments.
  • Education sector. Work is being carried out in conjunction with universities and vocational training and educational institutions to expand training on CSP. This paves the way for meeting the future demand for proficient academic and technical professionals in this field.
  • Brazilian-German inter-university cooperation. Collaborative projects stimulate ideas on how to integrate CSP into the national research and development landscape. A particular feature of the research projects is their focus on applying the research findings in public and private-sector institutions.
  • Cooperation between Brazilian and German companies. Strengthening cooperation stimulates innovations, which lead to collaboration and joint ventures. Partnerships in the private sector in both countries transfer know-how on CSP technologies and create new knowledge under local conditions.
  • Development of a strong network within the CSP sector. Supported and mentored by a Brazilian-German multistakeholder dialogue a sector network is creating the foundation needed to embed expertise and innovation. Setting up a network for key decision-makers and opinion leaders lays the foundation for sustainable dissemination of knowledge on CSP and enables that knowledge to be put into practice in the organisations involved.
  • Pilot projects. They are crucial to the development of innovative technologies such as CSP. This project supports pilot projects – working, for example, on the electricity generation aspect of CSP power plants but also on using the process heat they generate in industry, for water treatment or in agriculture.

The consulting firms Fichtner, GFA and Integration supported the implementation of the project.


  • CSP plants are permitted in national energy auctions.
  • A CSP biomass power plant with a training centre is being built with funds from the Brazilian funding programme INOVA Energia.
  • CSP is on Brazil’s research agenda: three Brazilian-German CSP research projects presented their findings to potential users from the public and private sectors. A further seven research projects are being financed by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI).
  • The University of Brasília (UnB) organised its second week-long International Solar School with lectures and workshops on CSP and photovoltaics for around 300 students and professors from all over Brazil.
  • The first CSP plant is being planned: the national electricity generating company CHESF (Companhia Hidro Elétrica do São Francisco) is working on the preparation of a commercial-scale CSP plant project (30 to 50 MWel) with the help of a loan from KfW Development Bank and technical support from GIZ.
  • Four industrial enterprises in north-eastern Brazil are carrying out feasibility studies for using CSP heat for their industrial processes.
  • In the state of Pernambuco, a central CSP heating system is planned for the new Araripina industrial park.
  • The German consulting firm Enolcon has won the tender put out by the Brazilian research centre CEPEL. The objective is to build ‘Petrolina’, Brazil's first CSP research plant.
  • Six Brazilian universities have incorporated lectures on CSP into their curricula.
  • ANEEL has issued a strategic invitation to tender for CSP research and development projects.

Additional information