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    Wind Energy Direct from the Sea: Government Defines Rules for Installing Wind Farms

    January 27, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras


      The publication of a decree that regulates the installation of wind farms on the Brazilian coast should accelerate the progress of generation projects that already amount to more than 40 thousand megawatts of energy and that are under environmental analysis by Ibama. This volume of energy is equivalent to the total potential of practically four Belo Monte hydroelectric plants, which is the largest national power plant.

      Through Decree 10,946, published on Wednesday, 25, in an extra edition of the Diário Oficial da União, by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, rules were established for energy exploration from offshore winds, a practice already explored in several European countries, but that was still awaiting definitions of rules in Brazil.

      The text provides for the use in internal waters of the Union's domain, in the territorial sea, in the exclusive economic zone, and on the continental shelf, for the generation of electric energy from the so-called "offshore ventures", i.e., at sea.

      The projects currently under analysis by Ibama amount to no less than 3,486 wind turbines that would be installed offshore in Brazil. The wind farms would be built in the states of Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, and Rio Grande do Sul. Each project has a different distance from the coast, ranging from one kilometer to 20 kilometers.

      In all, there are 23 parks requested so far. In some projects, such as one planned for Rio Grande do Sul, the intention is to erect no less than 482 towers in a single region, according to information from Ibama.

      Countries like Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France and Portugal are known for adopting this type of undertaking.

      Through a note, the Brazilian Association of Wind Energy (Abeeólica) celebrated the measure. "I am sure that this moment will be a historical point when we analyze the development of offshore wind power in Brazil, a decree that will be marked as a fundamental step for the sector," says Elbia Gannoum, president of the association. "I have no doubt that in a few years we will celebrate our first GWs (gigawatts) of offshore wind power and Brazil, which already has one of the best winds in the world for onshore wind power, will also become known for the success of its offshore wind power, a technology that is seen as essential in the fight to contain the effects of global warming.

      With the rules, the industry understands that the technical criteria are established, the studies are mandatory and how the agencies that will be responsible for the ventures can analyze, approve and formalize the progress of each stage of the projects, which are more complex than those of wind farms installed on land. The energy generation towers are installed hundreds of meters or a few kilometers from the beaches, with larger equipment, specific blades and towers, and their own distribution network.

      In the second half of last year, wind accounted for an average of 20% of the daily national electricity supply. The wind turbines already supply an entire day's consumption in the Northeast Region. Estimates indicate that at peak times wind power can supply about 23% of Brazil's total energy market.

      Ten years ago wind power was just an experiment within the electricity matrix, with a little more than 900 megawatts of installed capacity in a few dozen wind farms. A decade later, this volume has multiplied 20-fold and now amounts to 19,000 megawatts. There are more than 720 wind farms that daily turn 8,550 wind turbines on the main wind corridors in the country.

      In 2020, Brazil was the third country in the world that most expanded its generation capacity, with 2,297 megawatts added, second only to China and the United States. The sector received about US$ 4 billion (approximately R$ 21 billion) in investments in 2020. Considering the period from 2010 to 2020, US$ 37.3 billion was injected in wind farms.

      Onshore, the growth in wind generation is already contracted. The National Agency for Electrical Energy (Aneel) has already approved the construction of 163 wind farms in the country. An additional 5,445 megawatts of power will be injected into the national park, without considering the offshore projects.

      Brazil, which until 2013 occupied the 13th position in the world ranking of wind power generation, closed 2020 as the seventh country that consumes the most energy produced by wind power, only behind China, the United States, Germany, India, Spain, and France.


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