Non-conventional renewable energy sources: advantages and challenges to increase their share in the Brazilian Electricity Matrix

1 de agosto de 2011

IEI-LA was commissioned by WWF-Brazil to evaluate the advantages of the non-conventional renewable energy sources to the Brazilian power planning and the barriers that hinder their further dissemination.

Brazil can spur the deployment of renewables such as solar, biomass, wind and small hydropower without creating new charges for ratepayers, but only redirecting and strenghtning the already existent mechanisms. The report presents those mechanisms, covering a wide range of country-specific situations and applications.

In Brazil, only around 5% of the total power generation capacity is derived from alternative renewable energy sources, as wind, biomass, solar and small hydropower plants (SHP). The other 95% comprises traditional energy sources, as large and medium hydropower plants, nuclear energy and fossil-fueled thermal power plants (natural gas, diesel and coal).

In 2008, the study Sustainable Electricity Blueprint by WWF-Brazil, prepared by IEI-LA, demonstrated that it is possible to double the share of alternative renewables in the Brazilian Electricity Matrix compared to a business-as-usual scenario predicted in the Ten-Year Energy Expantion Plan 2006-2015. This could be achieved by lowering the energy consumption of Brazilian consumers up to 38% in 2020 through energy efficiency measures either from the demand or supply sides and at the same time stabilizing the emissions from power generation. The Ten-Year Plans are prepared by the Energy Research Company under the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The work here deepens the evaluations made in the Sustainable Electricity Blueprint, demonstrates the advantages of the alternative renewable energy sources and shows how it is possible to introduce new incentive mechanisms or to adapt the existent mechanisms to promote higher participation of these sources compared to the traditional ones.

The Summary for Decision Makers was published by WWF-Brazil (available below). Both this report and the Sustainable Electricity Blueprint are in Portuguese. A paper on the Sustainable Electricity Blueprint was published at the IEI's Journal Energy for Sustainable Development. To access the paper, click here.