Brazil has conditions to expand its current energy production capacity by 3.6 times by regulating the offshore wind power generation sector, something that the government intends to ensure this year, according to a study released Tuesday by the industrialists' employers' association.
According to the report by the National Confederation of Industry CNI, Brazil has the potential to generate 700 gigawatts GW of energy with the installation of offshore wind farms off its coast, a volume more than three times higher than the country's current installed generation capacity of 195 GW.
The study identified the offshore areas with the greatest wind generation potential, which are concentrated on the coast of the states of Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Rio Grande do Sul.
"And that potential, which is already a reality in Europe, Asia and North America, began to take its first steps in Brazil with the environmental license requests to develop offshore wind projects submitted by different companies to the Brazilian Environmental Institute IBAMA," says the employers' association.
According to the Confederation, as of August 30, IBAMA had received license requests to install 78 offshore wind farms with a combined capacity to generate 189 GW of energy, almost all of the country's current installed capacity.
But "there are still barriers to the activity," the main one being the lack of a legal framework that offers legal certainty to investments, the study warns.
The Minister of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira, took advantage of his participation this Tuesday in the 14th edition of Brazil Wind Power to announce that this barrier will be overcome this year.
"I have been directly involved in the articulation with Congress to finally advance in the approval of a legal framework for offshore wind. This weekend I debated with the rapporteur of the respective bill in the Chamber of Deputies on the structural solution for the sector and on the possibility of its approval later this year," he said.
The minister added that the legal framework will offer legal certainty to the process of "concession of marine areas"; it will guarantee investments and boost new studies and projects.
"That way we will strengthen the almost 80 offshore wind projects already in the process of environmental licensing. We want that initial potential of 200 GW of additional energy," he said.
Exporting green hydrogen
The minister assured that Brazil has demand for all this energy because its economy is growing; it intends to further decarbonize its electricity matrix, currently 90% renewables, and plans to offer the surplus to help developed countries in the energy transition process.
According to the CNI study, renewable energy from offshore wind will ensure that Brazil consolidates itself as a powerhouse in the production and export of green hydrogen, which the country can leverage for the production of "green steel," methane, clean fuels and even fertilizers.
"We already have investment announcements for US$ 30 billion in projects to produce green hydrogen in the country, something that will allow us to lead the energy transition at a global level," said the minister.