Brazil's sugarcane industry association Unica reported on Monday that the country has reached 10,000 MW of installed capacity in sugarcane biomass plants.
Following hydropower and natural gas sources, sugarcane biomass represents 7% of the Brazilian mix, exceeding almost 2.5 times the installed capacity of oil and diesel thermal units, and approximately three times that of coal-based thermal plants.
To Zilmar de Souza, Unica's Bioelectricity manager, this shows the importance of biomass for the power sector and for the sustainability of the electricity mix. Souza says another important milestone came in 2014 when alone the bioelectricity delivered to the national system, excluding the electricity for self-consumption, offset the emission of over 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Despite the 10,000 MW, the expansion of sugarcane bioelectricity remains a point of concern in the sugarcane industry. In 2010, according to national electricity regulator Aneel, the source added 1,750 MW, equivalent to 12.5% of Brazil-Paraguayan Itaipu dam. For 2015, the forecast is for additional 633 MW of biomass, only 36% of what was installed in 2010.