Brazil's renewable energy success
Allan Kardec Duailibe
Nature 468, 1041 (23 December 2010) doi:10.1038/4681041b
Published online 22 December
Brazil's advanced energy matrix is starting to pay off: 47.3% of its primary energy is now renewable. The world average is still around 13%.
Last year, Brazil produced 244 million TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent), of which 42.6% came from oil and coal, and the rest from sugar cane (18.2%), hydropower (15.2%), biomass (13.9%), natural gas (8.7%) and uranium (1.4%).
Ethanol accounted for 18.8% of fuel usage, and natural gas and biodiesel for 3.3%. In just 2 years, Brazil has reached its target of 5% biodiesel additive in diesel. Ethanol is set to overtake petrol as fuel, thanks to flexible-fuel engines that use both at the same time. These account for 90% of small-car sales in the past 2 years.
The country is developing the technology for 'green' petrol and diesel production from sugar cane and agricultural waste, and from the castor-oil residue generated during biodiesel manufacture.
Brazil's government estimates that only about 2.5% of arable land will be needed to meet the ethanol demand forecast for 2017 (today this is 1.4%). Burning of sugar-cane pulp (bagasse) is expected to supply 15% of Brazil's electricity by 2017, comparable to that being generated by the Itaipu hydropower plant on the Brazil–Paraguay border.- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone