Energy Blue Print

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

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5.9 the path to the energy [r]evolution

The installed capacity of renewable technologies will rise from 92,000 MW in 2010 to 396,000 MW in 2050. Quadrupling renewable capacity over the next 40 years will require investment from private enterprise, participation from consumers and support from the government through policy instruments. Brazil currently depends on an auction system to expand the share of renewable energy in the mix, without any legal underpinnings to make it mandatory or conducted on a regular basis.To effectively create a market for renewable energies, a policy is needed, with incentive packages that are more comprehensive and ambitious. In the case of fuels for industry and transportation, the same should be done to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and develop renewable energy applications and the use of electricity in vehicles.

o make the growth of modern renewable energies viable, a balanced and coordinated introduction of all of the available technologies is of utmost importance. Because the energy sector requires long investment cycles, the decisions to restructure the supply system must be made immediately.This movement depends as much on technical and economic aspects as public policy.

The Energy [R]evolution scenario proposes:

• The elimination of nuclear technology and use of the dirtiest fossil fuels—like diesel, coal and fuel oil—for the generation of electricity. To compensate, expansion of the use of renewable sources, such as wind and biomass energy, and new and efficient natural gas plants operating in a combined cycle. Natural gas plays an important role in the transition from the current electrical mix to one structured around sustainable renewable technologies, with its share diminishing after 2030.

• A diversification of the electrical mix, with a reduction in the share of hydroelectric energy. Due to environmental concerns, the growth in installed capacity for water energy should primarily come from small hydroelectric plants built and operated using the sustainable criteria mentioned previously. Hydroelectric generation should rise moderately in the coming decades and its share in the generation of energy will fall from 78% in 2010 to 40% in 2050.

• Increased use of biomass and biofuels, which should triple between 2010 and 2050, for both the production of electricity and as fuel for transportation.This expansion should occur while observing the socioenvironmental criteria stipulated previously.The production of biofuels should be diversified, using different crops besides sugarcane and soybean oil for biodiesel. The same holds true for bioelectricity, also produced using other types of waste besides sugarcane bagasse.

• An expansion of the use of wind energy, which should produce 279 TWh/year, or 21% of the electrical mix in 2050. This use will include 67 TWh of offshore wind power, which will begin to expand starting in 2035. It is important to emphasize that the energy produced would be less than a quarter of the theoretical potential for this source, considering only projects with reduced socioenvironmental impact and without potential for land conflict.

•The expansion of the photovoltaic solar panel industry,which began its participation in the mix modestly, at the end of the horizon should present the highest growth, generating 178 TWh/year in 2050, or 13%. This generation will come both from large-scale solar systems and decentralized generation in urban areas and in communities off the electrical grid. Solar energy should contribute with large-scale generation by means of heliothermal plants, whose feasibility should rise in the second half of the period under analysis, until reaching a share of 9.8% in generation, with 130 TWh in 2050. 

he use of part of the intermittent energy generation from solar panels and wind farms to feed the growing share of electrical vehicles in the market, starting in the coming decade, until reaching a fleet of 35 million vehicles, should consume 88 TWh in 2050.

• An increase in energy efficiency, which will begin by reducing consumption by 3.4% over the period 2010 to 2020, will achieve savings of 15% in the 2050s, with corresponding socioenvironmental and economic benefits.The introduction of efficiency measures will be cheaper than investing in expanding energy generation.

• A reduction in the consumption of electricity. For example, through the use of efficient electrical equipment in all sectors, primarily industry, residences and commercial establishments, the substitution of incandescent bulbs with florescent bulbs and LEDs, the introduction of more efficient refrigerators and the substitution of electric water heaters with solar water heaters. The use of bioclimactic architecture in buildings, whose design take advantage of natural light and air circulation, present excellent results, reducing energy costs in lighting and in the cooling of internal environments.