July 30, 2014
Patrick Smith – Windpower Monthly, 7/30/2014
The country’s energy consenting body Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE) said that wind projects accounted for 58% of the total 26.3GW proposed for October’s reserve auction.
Proposals were put forward for 626 wind projects, while solar accounted for 400 of the planned developments. There were also submissions for eight biogas projects.
The reserve auction differs from standard auctions in that it is not designed to meet the anticipated growth in demand, but rather provide energy security by creating a reserve capacity beyond that. EPE announced earlier this week that it will delay the reserve auction until 31 October, from the previously planned date of 10 October.
July 29, 2014
ASU News, 7/28/2014
A community-based landfill gas project in Brazil piloted in 2009 by the Appalachian Energy Center located at Appalachian State University will soon become reality.
The Green Methane Committee in Fortaleza/Maracanaú, Brazil, which the Appalachian Energy Center helped form and train, will receive approximately $750,000 from the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment – National Fund on Climate Change to construct a system to collect and utilize methane gas from the Maracanaú Landfill. The Appalachian Energy Center also helped plan this landfill gas collection and utilization system.
The gas will be used at an Energy Park that will be constructed adjacent to the landfill where catadores (Brazilian waste pickers) will gather plastic and glass recyclables from the waste stream before they end up in the landfill, providing more profit for these workers.
July 28, 2014
Vanessa Dezem – Bloomberg, 7/28/2014
Brazil’s Pernambuco state, which held the nation’s first solar-energy auction last year, said it is on the hook to buy the power after it was unable to find other bidders.
Pernambuco’s government agreed this month to buy the electricity from solar projects with the capacity to produce 96 megawatts of power, said state Secretary of Infrastructure Joao Bosco de Almeida. Contracts to build the projects were awarded in December to developers including Italy’s Enel Green Power SpA, who agreed to sell the power at an average price of 228.63 reais a megawatt-hour ($102.53) for 20 years. The contracts were only to build the projects and didn’t include buyers.
Although getting cheaper, solar power prices are still about 75 percent higher than those offered in the last wind-energy auction in June because the technology is still expensive and all of the equipment has to be imported. In addition to the high price, the duration of the contracts that Pernambuco was offering also deterred buyers, said Helena Chung, a Sao Paulo-based analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Buyers in Brazil’s wholesale market usually sign contracts for no longer than 10 years.
July 21, 2014
A leading sugar banker cautioned over this year’s drought in Brazil’s Centre South region hitting cane crops in 2015-16 too as he forecast a wave of mergers among mills, their financial prospects further undermined by the crop downturn.
Alexandre Figliolino, director at Banco Itau BBA, said that the cane harvest in Brazil’s Centre South, responsible for 90% of the domestic crop, could fall to 550m tonnes this season, following the drought which hit the region early in the year.
The forecast, down from 596m tonnes in 2013-14, compares with an estimate of 560m tonnes from Datagro and 575m tonnes from Kingsman, although Canaplan has a forecast of 540m tonnes.
July 18, 2014
Low corn prices in Brazil following a bumper crop are worrying farmers but providing favorable margins for an incipient corn-ethanol industry, said the manager of Usimat, the first Brazilian mill to produce the corn-based biofuel.
Usimat, located in a remote, corn-producing part of Mato Grosso state in central Brazil, plans to increase corn-based ethanol output to 100,000 tonnes this year from 67,000 tonnes last year.
Sergio Barbieri, the mill manager, currently is buying corn for 15 reais ($6.73) per bag, and says it is more profitable to use the grain than to buy sugarcane at up to 18 reais per bag.
July 18, 2014
Jessica Orwig – Physics Today, 7/18/2014
When Italian physicist Alessandro Volta was electrocuting frog legs in the 19th century, he was unaware of how vast and significant his subsequent discoveries would be for science and industry. In 1800 Volta designed the world’s first battery, which is not too different from the one that powers your smartphone today. Amy Prieto wants to change that.
Prieto is an associate professor at Colorado State University’s chemistry department. In 2008 she cofounded Prieto Battery. Today’s batteries are too expensive to produce, and they display “low battery” too soon after charging for Prieto’s liking. That is why she and her company are working toward a novel design that is 10 times more powerful, 5 times longer lasting, and less expensive than any battery on the current market.
“We’re trying to build this dream battery with these pretty amazing attributes. But the way that we make it is also pretty unusual,” says Prieto, who is one of many speakers presenting at this year’s Industrial Physics Forum (IPF) Conference on Industrial Physics in Emerging Economies II at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil.
June 20, 2014
Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 6/20/2014
Brazil’s deep water oil fields are developing at a faster pace than Gulf of Mexico and even in the North Sea, Petrobras general manager Anelise Lara told the World Petroleum Congress in Moscow on Thursday.
Lara was referring to both the Santos, Espirito Santo and older Campos Basin oil fields far off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, where the oil giant made market shattering discoveries in 2006.
Oil production there has hit around 400,000 barrels per day in 8 years, meaning the wells were discovered and producing faster than other deep water oil spots in the world. The Gulf of Mexico took 19 years to reach that level of production, while the North Sea took 9.
June 19, 2014
Tim Radford – RTCC, 6/16/2014
Brazil might or might not win the World Cup, but it so far seems a clear winner in the race to reduce carbon emissions, having stopped 3.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere during the last decade.
A team of economists and scientists report in the US journal Science that Brazil has achieved this, since 2004, by simply not cutting down 86,000 square kilometres of rainforest. This is, in effect, a 70% decline in deforestation, and in 2013 alone such abstention amounted to a 1.5% drop in global carbon emissions.
It sounds like eccentric accounting – awarding credits for unauthorised destruction that didn’t happen – but it represents a change of course all the same.
June 19, 2014
ASTM International, 6/19/2014
Renewable Synthesized Iso-Paraffinic (SIP) fuel has now been included in ASTM International standard D7566, Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons. A recently approved revision that adds SIP fuel to the ASTM D7566 annex will facilitate use of the fuels in all airlines internationally.
“The introduction of renewable fuel into the aviation industry enables a meaningful reduction of greenhouse gas emissions without compromising fuel performance,” says ASTM member Fernando Garcia, senior director, scientific and regulatory affairs, Amyris Inc. “Independent analysis indicates that renewable farnesane hydrocarbon produced from sugarcane can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared to conventional Jet A/A1 fuel.”
Garcia says that Brazilian green initiatives will encourage international flights to use renewable fuels during and after these international events. “Even at a 10 percent blend of renewable fuel into the fossil fuels used by airlines, we anticipate greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced up to 3 percent,” says Garcia.