Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Brazilian Amazon to Ditch Diesel for Clean Energy

Amazonas has some of the dirtiest and most expensive electricity in the country (Pic Credit: Flickr/Monica Posada) Click to Enlarge.
Although the Amazon region is home to dozens of big hydroelectric dams, their energy is sent thousands of miles south to power the homes and factories in the big cities, or to feed electricity-intensive industries, many of them foreign-owned aluminium smelters.

Very little of it stays within the region which generates it. Instead the seven states that make up Brazil’s huge Amazon region rely on diesel-fueled power plants, which together emit annually 6 million tons of CO2, double the emissions produced by vehicles in São Paulo, the country’s biggest city.

Now the government has finally begun to tackle the problem, spurred on by the need to meet its Paris Agreement targets.

The environment minister, José Sarney Filho, says:  “We took on ambitious targets under the Paris Agreement, and to meet them we need to expand the use of renewable sources of energy.”

The first step is a program to provide alternative energy sources for 55 towns with a combined population of about half a million people, replacing 255 diesel plants with ones using renewable energy.

Bids have been invited for an energy auction, to be held in May, and 54 have already been submitted.  Solar, wind, and any other renewable fuels are all eligible.  Successful bids will receive subsidized loans from Brazil’s development bank, the BNDES, which has stopped funding coal- and oil-fueled plants and switched to renewables.

Read more at Brazilian Amazon to Ditch Diesel for Clean Energy

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