Brazil is one of the countries with the most advanced biomass energy market. Biofuels are produced from sugar cane and hundreds of power plants are using the remaining sugar cane bagasse as fuel. Most of these plants use direct combustion and have capacities far over 1 MW.
But some small biomass power plants also exist, most of them based on biogas technology. Some of them are listed in the Brazilian database “BIG - Banco de Informações de Geração”.
The smaller plants include the following:
An updated overview of biogas plants in Brazil can easily be accessed here.
Biogas in Brazil
All of these plants in Parana (PR) won a tender in 2009 to sell their electricity to the public energy provider COPEL DISTRIBUIÇÃO SA in the southern Brazilian state Paraná. The feed-in tariff of about 128 – 130 R$ / MWh corresponds roughly to 50 € / MWh or 0.05 EUR / kWh .
This price is not high enough to guarantee a profitable operation of biogas power plants in Brazil. Nevertheless it is an important step forward as it can help to make the plants more profitable. The main purpose of these plants (using the waste of a slaughterhouse or animal production facility) is sanitation and environmental protection. The second important benefit is the gas and electricity production for own use in the companies. Only the excess electricity is sold at the fixed feed-in tariff.
Already in 2002, a programme for the support of alternative energy resources (PROINFA) was approved in Brazil. One objective was to feed in more than 600 MW of biomass energy into the national grid. However, the implementation was confronted with delays. And only big power plants with direct combustion of the biomass could benefit from this programme. The mentioned 5 biogas power plants are now the very first small plants that can utilize the feed-in tariff (FIT) .
The GIZ programme Energy Programme („Programa Energia”) on behalf of German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development supports the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Brazil and hence also the appropriate production and use of biogas. The programme aims to improve the framework conditions for sustainable use of biogas, the analysis of experience and know-how transfer between German and Brazilian partners.
Between 2013 and 2017 a new project called PROBIOGAS was initiated to promote biogas energy production. The project was a partnership between the Minsitry of Cities and GIZ. The impacts of this projects are a great contribution to the biogas sector in Brazil: laws/ norms were improved, a first biogas project was approved in the Brazilian Energy Auction, a vast library is available online and for free download (in Portuguese). More info on the projects and its achievements can be accessed in Portuguese.
There are probably several biogas plants in farms or small industries that use the gas for individual power generation. This is indicated by the existence of a special biogas motor programme offered by the Brazilian company Branco. It offers small motors, motor pumps and a generator set of 3.6 kW especially for biogas use.
- ↑ http://www.aneel.gov.br/aplicacoes/capacidadebrasil/GeracaoTipoFase.asp?tipo=2&fase=3
- ↑ COPEL, 2009
- ↑ Grope, 2009
- ↑ http://www.branco.com.br/p_lb.htm
5. Ministry of Cities (Brazil): www.cidades.gov.br/probiogas