The federal government issued on Tuesday night (25) a decree that makes room for the development of offshore wind power generation in the country. The technology is common in Europe and has entered the radar of major investors such as Neoenergia and Shell.
Decree 10,946/2022, considered "a crucial breakthrough" by the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica), provides for the assignment of the use of physical spaces and the use of natural resources for power generation from offshore plants.
The document will come into force on June 15 and applies to the Union's internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
Offshore wind power plant off the coast of Blackpool, England - Phil Noble - 5.Sep.2018/Reuters
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the decree comes to fill gaps identified by public institutions, entrepreneurs, experts and organizations for a regulatory framework for the exploitation of offshore electricity potential in Brazil, especially in issues related to implementation and the concession model
The text establishes that the assignment of use may be granted either by initiative of the portfolio, through the offer of previously delimited prisms ("planned assignment"), or by initiative of those interested in exploring the areas ("independent assignment").
Once the assignment of use is obtained, the entrepreneur is responsible for conducting the necessary studies to identify the offshore energy potential, and must meet the criteria and deadlines set by the ministry.
The government states that Brazil has "excellent characteristics" for offshore wind generation, such as an extensive coastline, with shallow waters along the coast, and the incidence of trade winds in the Northeast region, of constant intensity and direction.
In ABEEólica's evaluation, the decree represents "a crucial advance" to make the new technology viable in the country.
"We believe that the decree not only meets the public and collective interests, but it is also an important basis so that the work of the companies can be done in a planned and organized way. In a sector that is taking its first steps, this security is fundamental," said the entity, in a statement.
According to the entity, Ibama already has more than 40 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind projects under analysis, which shows great interest from investors.
Among the groups that have already disclosed studies for projects in Brazil are Neoenergia, controlled by the Spanish company Iberdrola, and Shell.
Worldwide, this type of wind power generation totals 35.3 GW of installed capacity, according to the latest survey by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), with data from the end of 2020. Of this total, about 70% is concentrated in Europe, with the United Kingdom being the largest market for the technology, followed by China.
In Brazil, offshore wind power is still not competitive in relation to other generation technologies, but the market is betting on a reduction in the value of investments (Capex) with technological development.
According to the National Energy Plan 2050, prepared by the Energy Research Company (EPE), offshore wind generation may reach 16 GW by 2050, if there is a 20% reduction in the Capex of this source.