Brazil biomass generation at record levels
October 23, 2015
By Argus Media
October 23, 2015 — Brazilian sugar cane-based biomass power plants generated a record 3,207GWh in August, up 9.5pc over the same period of 2014, according to the electricity clearinghouse CCEE.
In the first eight months of 2015, cane-based biomass generation increased 14pc over the same period of 2014.
The increase comes as the government has been limiting hydroelectric generation in an effort to preserve reservoir levels following a prolonged drought.
Brazil’s leading sugar and ethanol producers association Unica said the increase in biomass generation is largely a result of investments made between 2010 and 2014, when the sector increased installed capacity by over 6,000MW.
Unica is projecting that between 2015 and 2019, less than 3,000MW of new capacity will come on stream, blaming a lack of clear government policy for discouraging new investment.
But in a sign of apparent vigour for the biomass sector, 63 biomass projects with total installed capacity of 3,019MW have applied to participate in a Feb. 5 auction for power purchase agreements starting in January 2021.
Of these projects, 14 are located in Sao Paulo state and 11 in Minas Gerais state, the country’s top cane producing states. An additional 13 plants are located in Mato Grosso do Sul state, one of the country’s new cane-producing regions.
The level of participation in the auction will ultimately depend on the ceiling price established by the government for biomass-based projects.
Most of these projects will likely use cane bagasse as feedstock, but there is also growing interest in other types of biomass, such as wood chips and rice husks.
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