On Wednesday (13), Petrobras officially announced its entry into the offshore wind power generation segment, considered one of the bets in the energy transition. According to the president of the state-owned company, Jean Paul Prates, the company has applied for environmental licenses from Ibama in 10 maritime areas in six states. The idea is to take advantage of winds that are even stronger and more constant than those on land, almost no competition and the attention of investors.
The requests for offshore wind energy exploration include the coastlines of Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Maranhão, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Rio Grande do Sul. Together, the areas have the potential to generate up to 23 GW of energy.
"Petrobras is now the company with the greatest offshore wind energy potential in Brazil in terms of capacity registered with Ibama," said Prates to the press at Brazil WindPower, a sector event taking place in São Paulo.
Expectations for the growth of wind energy in the country continue to expand for onshore projects. Most of the wind farms are in the Northeast and should mainly supply the domestic market.
However, although it is a clean and renewable source, the winds off the Brazilian coast are irregular and weaker than those echoing out to sea. This is why offshore exploration is taking center stage in this renewable source model.
Offshore wind energy capacity is almost four times the existing capacity
A study by the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), released this week, shows that Brazil's offshore energy potential is around 700 GW, which represents 3.6 times the energy capacity already installed in the country. According to the CNI, Ibama had received 78 license applications by August.
It is more expensive and difficult to install a wind turbine system at sea - given its size, height and lack of stability on the ground, depending on the project. But the investment is worth the return. This is because, according to experts, green, low-carbon hydrogen can be produced in these structures and the intention is to export it. In other words, it's a potential new global market that can pay more.
"We are also investing massively in wind measurement campaigns on fixed offshore platforms in Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará and Espírito Santo, and in offshore wind solutions with universities, such as floating wind. The data collected will allow a detailed assessment of the offshore potential and define the wind farm potential and technologies," said Prates.
Petrobras invests in mega wind turbine with electronics company Weg
Earlier in the day, Petrobras also announced that it will invest R$130 million to develop a 7 megawatt (MW) onshore wind turbine in partnership with electronics company Weg. The project is already underway and will be the first and largest of its kind, according to the company. "The projection is that (the wind turbine) can be produced in series from 2025," said the president of Petrobras.
The wind turbine is 220 meters high from the ground to the tip of the blade, equivalent to the height of six statues of Christ the Redeemer. It weighs 1,830 tons, which corresponds to the weight of around 1,660 popular cars.