46% of Brazil’s energy comes from renewable sources
May 13, 2008
Preliminary data from Brazil’s energy ministry shows that bioenergy derived from sugar cane surpassed hydroelectric power as Brazil’s secondary largest source of energy in 2007, reports Biopact.
The annual National Energy Balance report produced by Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE) shows that 46.4 percent of Brazil’s energy comes from renewable sources. By comparison, renewable energy accounts for 5.2 percent of power in OECD countries. In the U.S., about 7 percent of energy came from renewables in 2006 according to the Energy Information Administration.
In Brazil ethanol and pulp made up about 16 percent of Brazil’s energy output in 2007, a 10 percent increase over 2006. Hydroelectric power generation decline 0.1 percentage points to 14.7 percent in 2007.
Overall Brazilian energy demand grew 5.9 percent in 2007, greater than the 5.4 growth rate for the Brazilian economy as a whole.
Brazilian oil firms have recently announced the discovery of two massive offshore oil deposits.
Brazil’s sugar cane ethanol is presently the most efficiently produced biofuel in the world. With a production cost of around $1 per gallon—a fraction the cost of conventional gasoline—nearly eight out of every ten new cars sold in Brazil are flex-fuel—capable of running on either an ethanol-gasoline mix (“gasohol”) or bioethanol. Brazil has effectively replaced 26 percent of its gasoline with sugar-cane based fuel grown on 5 percent of its crop area. The country is the largest exporter of ethanol.