Renewable Energy: What you need to know

Brazil has great potential for renewable energy production due to its climate, agriculture, and water distribution

Renewable energy sources are unlimited resources for the generation of clean energy, and differ from fossil fuels mainly in their diversity, abundance, and potential for use anywhere on the planet. Furthermore, they are environmentally efficient, as they do not emit carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. Natural resources such as sun, water, wind, and organic materials have become options for society as opposed to non-renewable ones, especially fossil fuels (coal and oil), which are highly polluting sources. 

In the national electricity matrix, the share of renewable energy is usually around 80% of the total, according to the National Agency of Electrical Energy (ANEEL), and the explanation is simple: Brazil has great potential for renewable energy production due to its climate, agriculture, and water distribution. 

Data from the Ministry of Mines and Energy highlight that almost half of the energy produced (48%) in Brazil comes from renewable sources.  The number is promising, especially if the country is compared with the rest of the world, which reinforces the Brazilian potential for clean energy generation and its enormous capacity to have a matrix mostly consisting of renewable and clean and safe sources.

According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), an example of Brazil’s capacity is the more than 2,200 hours of solar irradiance per year, which could contribute to the generation of 15 trillion megawatts of energy. In practice, this represents four times more than a hydroelectric power plant is able to produce in the same period. In addition, Brazil leads wind energy production in Latin America and will account for at least 37% of the expansion in the region by 2025, according to the annual report of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released in March 2021.

Importance to the planet

The use of renewable energy emerges as an alternative with less environmental impact, as they are essential for a more sustainable economy and for reducing the emission of gases that cause the greenhouse effect, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), which are responsible for global warming. Thus, it is possible to affirm that the renewable energy help mitigate climate change, making this type of resource an important ally in the preservation of the environment.

And what is the role of private sector?

Given this scenario, the private sector has a key role in speeding up the incentive to financing new, more efficient and less polluting technologies. In Brazil, since 2006, the Voltalia Group, which produces and sells electricity generated from wind, solar, hydraulic, biomass, and storage plants, has as its premise the improvement of the global environment while promoting local development in the communities where it operates. Currently, the company is in charge of the Canudos Wind Farm 1 & 2, located in Bahia’s countryside, covering the municipalities of Canudos, Jeremoabo and Euclides da Cunha. The installed capacity of the farm is 99.4 MW, equivalent to supplying more than 200,000 Brazilian families. The project will promote generation of jobs in the region, bringing numerous benefits to local communities, such as tax collection and implementation of socio-environmental projects, among other advantages for the residents of the municipalities that, currently, are already feeling the positive impacts due to the construction of the project.

The Canudos Wind Farm 1 & 2 comprises the growing scale of wind energy production in the State of Bahia, which has shown promise for the implementation of this type of enterprises. This potential in the region contributes to the production of energy in the midst of the water scarcity that usually affects the country, since Bahia is the leader in wind energy generation and second in the ranking of the five main states in solar energy generation in Brazil, in April 2021, according to data from the Executive Report on Renewable Energy, released in June last year by the Department of Economic Development (SDE). 

The transition to an energy system based on renewable technologies offers more opportunities in energy efficiency, social and economic development, energy democratization, and power of choice for large companies, as well as investments in sustainable innovations, economic advances, and generation of jobs. A future that is already very present and worth investing in.