Rio de Janeiro in
Brazil “’ an emerging
world leader in clean
Sao Paolo, Brazil — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 29 September 2011 – All heads in the renewable energy world are turned towards Brazil, which provided 44.8% of its energy requirements from clean energy sources last year, and expects to increase that figure to 46.3% by 2020.

Renewable Energy World reports that while this increase may seem small in percentage terms, it fails to take into account the huge growth that will be seen in the country’s raw energy demands “’ and the fact that the next decade could see the foundations laid for renewable energy to quickly become even more dominant in the years that follow.

In the next decade demand for energy is expected to increase by around 60% in Brazil, fuelled by millions of people spending more on consumer goods for their homes and cars; economic growth continuing to outstrip that seen in developed nations; and heavy spending to improve infrastructure ahead of the two greatest sporting shows on earth.

However, Brazil has also committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by between 36 and 39% by 2020, making it vital that the country concentrates on clean sources of energy.

Investment of around US$122.6 billion is needed for Brazil to meet the challenge, according to a 10-year energy plan recently published by EPE, Brazil’s Energy Research Company, which conducts research for the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Of this, around US$63.8 billion will go towards renewable projects not yet contracted, 55% on large hydropower and 45% on wind, biomass and small hydro.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that up to 77% of the world’s energy needs could potentially be supplied from renewable sources by 2050, despite the current figure being a much more modest 13%.

In terms of electricity Brazil already meets 83% of its needs from renewable means, gaining recognition from the Washington-based Pew Environment Group as “one of the lowest carbon electricity matrices in the world.”