Brazil's Impressive Renewable Energy Outlook
Brazil will continue to prove its commitment to renewable energy in the future by promoting investment across its alternative power sectors, states the latest study by business intelligence providers GBI Research.
The new report says that the increasing demand for electricity in this rapidly expanding South American economy is driving up the country’s cumulative installed capacity – but Brazil will continue to rely on eco-friendly power generation to support expansion.
Brazil’s total cumulative installed capacity in 2011 was 120,553 Megawatts (MW), with a massive 80% represented by renewable energy (if large hydro is included). Approximately 70% of this was accounted for by hydropower, while other alternative power sources, biomass, wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and small hydro, made up 10% in total.
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Excluding the substantial large hydropower sector, Brazil’s renewable installed capacity is expected to leap from 13,260 MW in 2012 to 38,015 MW by the end of the decade, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14%.
Proving one of the fastest growing energy sources in Brazil’s energy mix is wind. Although contributing a relatively meager 2,769 MW to Brazil’s total installed capacity in 2012, the government’s plans to take advantage of the untapped offshore market could see this portion reach 19,420 MW by 2020.
Although it only operates onshore wind farms at present, Brazil aims to capitalize on the South’s strong offshore gales, boosting both wind power’s installed capacity and its popularity with investors.
GBI Research predicts the country’s solar PV market to display the most explosive growth in Brazil’s renewables industry, albeit from a much smaller foundation. Growing at a massive CAGR of 59%, the solar PV sector is forecasted to climb exponentially from an installed capacity of 31 MW in 2012 to 1,276 MW in a period of just eight years.
SOURCE: GBI Research
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.