From garbage to electricity: São Paulo gets the largest green thermal plant in Latin America

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[This article was published in the Gazeta do Povo newspaper on 10/31/16, read the full article here]

Example of use of garbage for power generation, a biogas-powered landfill plant has the capacity to provide electricity to a city of up to 300,000 inhabitants.

img_20151118_151349150Project that turns methane gas from waste into electricity cost US $ 100 million. | With the potential to generate 29.5 megawatts (MW) of clean energy from urban waste, the largest biogas plant in Latin America was recently inaugurated in the Greater São Paulo region. The Termoverde, installed in the landfill of the municipality of Caieiras, produces energy from methane and emerges as an important energetic reinforcement for the region. The total cost of the project was R $ 100 million.

Built by the Solví Group in an area of 15 thousand m², the thermoelectric generates 26 MW per hour, enough energy to supply a city of 300 thousand inhabitants. The facility began to be built in 2014 and obtained authorization from the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) to start operations in July this year.


According to Carlos Bezerra, director of Termoverde Caieiras, the implementation of the biogas plant was only possible thanks to some incentives
Governmental organizations that made the project viable. “The discount of the Tariff for the Use of Electric Distribution Systems (TUSD) by ANEEL; The exemption of PIS / COFINS /ra/pequena/Pub/GP/p4/2016/10/31/Economia/Imagens/Futuro/aereaB.jpg by the federal government and ICMS by the state government made possible the installation. But it’s still little. An adequate public policy to encourage renewable energy is needed to have more power plants like these. ”

[This article was published in the Gazeta do Povo newspaper on 10/31/16, check out the full article here]

Analysis of the Expansion Possibility of Small Central Hydro powers in Brazil

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A research article by the researchers on the identification of the key limitations and potentials of sustainability in the productive chain for Small Hydro Power (SHP) in Brazil by Prof. Dr. Christian Luiz da Silva (UTFPR), Masters student of the PPGTE program Georgia Alana Andréas Nowakowski (UTFPR), and the Cuban researchers Alain Hernandez Santoyo (Universidad de Pinar del Rio, Cuba), VictorErnesto Perez Leon (Universidad de Pinar del Rio, Cuba), and Mayra Casas Vilardell (Universidad de Pinar del Rio, Cuba) was published in a Special issue (Edição Especial Nexo Água e Energia) of the Journal Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente.



Small hydro power plants are considered strategic in the expansion projects at the National Energy Plan in Brazil. However, it is not clear how this expansion can effectively occur, considering that only hydraulic potential is not sufficient enough to guarantee it. In this sense, the main objective of the present research is to identify the key limitations and potentials of sustainability in the productive chain for Small Hydro Power (SHP) in Brazil, to the context of environmental, social, economic and institutional dimensions. Regarding the research methodology, it can be classified as applied and exploratory. The data used is secondary and was used a qualitative analysis technique.
To identify limitations and potentials, a mapping of SHP production chain structure was done at national scale. Five stages that compound the production chain were studied: natural resources; generation; transmission; distribution; and marketing. According to these stages, five criteria were used (importance, probability, timeliness, scope and effect) to classify factors identified in each step.
Finally,it is established an aggregations criteria and a significance level for the potential and the limitations of each chain stage was defined. As a result, 20 limiting and 17 potential related to the productive chain of SHPs inBrazil were identified. In order to make the sector more competitive, efforts needed to reduce the negative environmental impacts arising from the power plants installation were found, such as the flooded areas and the resettled families, and the establishment of some legal and technical aspects related to the environment and energy trading. On the other hand, the hydraulic potential and consolidation of turbine manufacturers and generators ratify the SHP as strategic and potential for the country.

Keywords: renewable energy; small hydropower plants; productive chain; competitiveness determinant factors; sustainability.

Renewable energy hits world records in 2015, report shows

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An increase in new wind, solar and hydraulic plants and capacity saw renewable energy smash global records last year, according to a report on the new offer. Some 147 gigawatts of renewable electricity came online in 2015 – the largest ever annual increase and as much of Africa’s entire power generation capacity. Investment in clean energy increased to $ 286bn (£ 198bn), with solar energy accounting for 56% of total energy and wind to 38%.

Read the full article at


Participation of our researchers in ITAIPU Binational event

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Our researchers participated in the “International Seminar on Environment and Development with focus on the nexus Water, Energy and Food” from May 17 to 19, 2016 in the Itaipu Technological Park, as part of a group of students from Profa. Sigrid Andersen and researchers of the MADE program and of Environmental Engineering of UFPR. After the event the researchers also participated in a GIS course specializing in water resources management was offered by the International Center for Hydroinformatics (CIH).



Bioethanol expansion and its consequences

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The journal Tropical Conservation Science in a study investigates the effects of the expansion of sugarcane production for export and what are the measures to diminish the effects on the ecosystem of the Atlantic Forest.

This material and others you find in our Journal and Article Suggestions!


Bernard, E., Melo, F. P. L. and Pinto, S. R. R. 2011. Challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation in the Atlantic Forest in the face of bioethanol expansion. Tropical Conservation Science Vol. 4 (3): 267-275. Available online: or directly here.

Brazil is the world’s largest producer of ethanol from sugarcane, an alternative to gasoline. Large companies, including international oil companies, are aware of the potential of Brazilian ethanol and are investing in the production and expansion of the country’s sugarcane plantations. The growth of the ethanol market and the fulfillment of its demand impose some conservationist challenges to Brazil. The market points to the expansion of the area planted with sugarcane, but this could be extremely detrimental to the conservation of the rest of the biodiversity of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The impact of this expansion will be even more severe in the states of Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte, the country’s second largest sugar and ethanol producing region, and one of the most threatened portions of the world’s tropical forests (only 12% , ~ 1% legally protected), with most of the forest fragments smaller than 100 ha and several endemic species in the imminence of extinction. We argue here that instead of expanding the planted area, increased productivity should be the most logical and environmentally sound solution for the region. Furthermore, we indicate that the current challenge is to increase the number of sugar-alcohol companies that adopt best environmental management practices and turn these programs into real opportunities for the restoration of biodiversity and environmental services in an ecosystem in imminent collapse. We strongly recommend that sugarcane mills should take a step further and at least ensure the protection of the remaining habitats beyond what is established by current environmental legislation.

Remaining patches of Atlantic Forest.

Renewable Energy Project Investment In Emerging Markets Yields Higher Returns

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The news page on renewable energies Clean Technica reports that investments in renewable energy projects in emerging markets yield more. Read the full article here: Renewable Energy Project Investment In Emerging Markets Yields Higher Returns.

Investing in renewable energy projects in emerging markets has returned that are on average 28% higher than those in Europe or North America.

The findings are part of the recently released Mercatus Global Advanced Energy Insights Report Volume IV, published by cloud-based software company Mercatus, which offers software to help digitally assess renewable energy deals. The report is based on energy project data in various stages of development managed in Mercatus’ Energy Investment Management Platform in 2015. Specifically, taken in aggregate, the internal rates of return for renewable energy projects in the developing world are 28% higher than those in Europe and North America.

safricasolarroofinstall-e1348142674385“It may be time to re-think J. Paul Getty’s famous formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil,” said Haresh Patel, CEO of Mercatus.”For energy investors today, the more successful formula might revolve around renewable energy projects-particularly in emerging markets. If there was an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for these developing world projects, I think investors would seriously consider buying stock. ”

Several key points are worth taking out of the report:

In 2015, rapid growth was seen for the development of advanced energy technologies in developing countries, with investment in these markets matching that of developed countries for the first time. This matches figures revealed in March by the United Nations Environmental Program, which showed that in 2015, investments in renewable energy in developing nations topped investments in the developed world for the first time ever. Developing and emerging economies invested a total of $ 156 billion in renewable energy in 2015, while developed nations invested $ 130 billion.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, Mercatus concludes that “emerging markets represent the largest source of growth in demand for electricity and growing investment opportunities for advanced energy technologies” over the long term.

Furthermore, on a wider scale, Mercatus also found that energy companies are increasingly diversifying across technologies and geography, providing more options for consumers and minimizing risk and capturing more sectors for them.


Perhaps the most interesting of the findings from the new report, however, is the fact that it appears developed nations are more interested in smaller-scale solar projects, while developing nations are looking to larger, utility-scale solar projects. Average project size in Europe is 3 MW, and in North America 11 MW. However, average project size in South America is 64 MW, in Africa it is 45 MW, and 34 MW in the Middle East.

This is unsurprising, given the existing electricity infrastructure in developed nations – where renewable energy is a transitional electricity source. In developing nations, however, the electricity infrastructure is not as entrenched and developed, meaning that lower cost renewable electricity projects are not only good for the environment and national climate targets, but economically more viable than traditional fossil fuel-based generation projects.

Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels

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Renewable energies have been growing steadily. The New York-based Bloomberg news agency reports in a recent statement that increasing affordability and lower cost of production make developments easier. Read the Bloomberg article:

Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels

As solar prices fall, installations boom. Souce: BNEF
U.S. oil patch heads to the insolvency zone. Source: BNEF