Renewable energy in Brazil is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the national economy. Thanks to its vast natural resources and climate, Brazil is making big strides in increasing its renewable output. In addition, it’s meeting its agreements in the Paris Climate Accord.
Climatic conditions make up the main focus for renewable energy in Brazil. Favourable winds and reliable sunshine make wind and solar-powered energy production particularly attractive. Both sectors have shown considerable growth over the last year. Brazil is also expanding its biomass production in a bid to up its game in renewables.
Solar power production soars
Brazil boasts a very sunny climate and parts of the country bask in an average of eight hours of solid sunshine a day. In Northeast Brazil, cities like Fortaleza and Natal enjoy over 2,800 hours of sun annually. It’s therefore no surprise to discover that solar energy is one of the up-and-coming sectors for investment in Brazil.
As a source of renewable energy in Brazil, sunshine has been relatively underutilised until this year. In June, the country produced 237MW of solar power, a giant hike of 930.5% more than the same month in 2016.
Thanks to a combination of all its renewable energy sources (solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric) Brazil added 7,865MW to electricity production in June.
Wind renewable energy in Brazil
Solar power represents a small part of energy production compared to wind-generated electricity. Wind energy plants increased their output by 28.5% in the year to August, an even higher figure than the previous month. In July, wind energy production went up by 20.9%.
The total share of wind power within the national grid reached almost 10% in August, up from 7.4%. In a bid to increase this share further, Brazil is fast increasing the number of wind plants. The government approved a total of 18 new renewable energy installations in August. The majority are wind plants in Northeast Brazil, mostly in the states of Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte.
First corn ethanol plant
Brazil already ranks as the world’s biggest producer of ethanol from sugarcane. A recent joint venture investment between the Brazilian company Fiagril and the American Summit Agricultural Group has taken ethanol production one step further.
Brazil’s first corn ethanol plant opened recently in Lucas do Rio Verde in the Mato Grosso region. With an initial investment of R$450 million, the plant will be capable of producing 210 million litres of ethanol a year. As well as generating power, the plant will make other corn products.
Rise in renewable energy certificates
The surge in renewable energy certificates (RECs) shows the strong interest in renewable energy in Brazil from investors. The number of RECs traded in Brazil between January and August this year rose by 18% compared to the same period last year.
Each REC certifies 1MWh of electricity produced by renewable energy sources. Brazil currently has 19 renewable energy parks that are eligible to generate RECs.
(Source: Renewables Now)