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German wind power boost for Brazil as turbine factory construction begins

The Brazilian factory will manufacture 2.5 MW turbine and is expected to assemble machines worth EUR 450m over next five years

The wind turbine factory is being constructed in Brazil
The wind turbine factory is being constructed in Brazil

A German firm has started a project set to boost wind power in Brazil. German wind turbine manufacturer Fuhrlander has begun construction of a turbine factory in the country. It furthers evidence that Brazil is becoming a regional manufacturing powerhouse in renewable energy.

Fuhrlander, which already has a presence in emerging low carbon energy markets through its manufacturing facility in Ukraine, is collaborating with Brazilian utility Electrobras, network company Furnas and the bank Banco Minas Gerais in its Brazilian project. The Brazilian factory, in the north-eastern state on Ceana, will manufacture the 2.5 MW turbine and is expected to assemble machines worth e450 million over the next five years.

Manufacturers from Europe have been attracted to Brazil, which according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) expanded its own installed wind sector by 63 per cent in 2011, to 1509 MW. Environmental research and lobbying group the Pew Charitable Trust predicts in its latest market report further wind generation growth in Brazil over the next five years of 49 per cent on current capacity.

Brazil has bucked the recessionary trend affecting renewable energy elsewhere partly because of strong government support, a stable regulatory regime and low renewable power prices which makes generating technologies such as wind power competitive.

The country also has strong wind resources and has seasonal rain and wind compatability with hydro-power and wind energy.

Fuhrlander joins six other overseas companies which are either manufacturing renewable energy infrastructure in Brazil or have declared their intent to do so. Turbine makers Gamesa and Alstom already have factories in production.

This manufacturing presence could also play beyond the domestic market. GWEC, in its latest Global Wind Energy Report, says: “The country’s support framework and the renewable sector’s experience have been adapted to meet local conditions. This puts Brazil in an excellent position to be the regional leader in wind energy generation and development.”