Presidente da Tradener, Walfrido Avila, segue em destaque na imprensa internacional Inglesa e Sul Americana.
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Brazil hydro to see shift in role
Solar and wind capacity will jump in the next 10 years, but their intermittency means the grid will need a key base-load supplier
Sao Paulo, 8 September (Argus) — The role of Brazil's traditionally dominant hydroelectric sector is likely to evolve as more renewable capacity comes on stream, with its output providing cover for the country's increasingly intermittent generation mix.
Hydro's share of installed capacity is forecast to fall to roughly 50pc by the end of the decade, from over 60pc now, as wind and solar power — which face fewer barriers to environmental licensing — undergo a rapid expansion (see charts). Hydropower capacity is expected to rise to 113GW by 2029, from 109GW now, according to the government's latest 10-year plan, but combined wind and solar capacity will more than double to over 50GW in the same period, from 22GW now.
The shift will leave the grid more dependent on intermittent power generation, meaning that it will require reliable baseload supply from hydroelectric dams. Brazil's hydro reservoirs are like "huge batteries and can operate 24 hours a day", the president of local energy firm Tradener, Walfrido Avila, tells Argus.
The country has little scope to expand hydro generation by building more of the large facilities in the Amazon basin that provided most of the capacity additions over the past five years, Avila says. These include the 11.23GW Belo Monte dam on the Xingu river in Para state, whose final turbine started up in October.
But Avila says small and medium-sized hydro plants could add 15GW of capacity in the next decade — above government projections. "These are plants with very limited environmental impact that would help stabilisethe grid," he says.
Much of the growth in power generation will come from the non-regulated market, where large consumers buy electricity directly from generators or third-party brokers, Avila says. This means that demand for new hydroelectric capacity in generation auctions may be limited.
Over the longer term, the government expects hydro to remain a leading source of electricity supply. It envisages as much as 10GW of extra hydropower capacity being made available by 2050 through the modernisation of around 50 existing plants, some of which are over 90 years old.The local subsidiary of Chinese state-owned developer China Three Gorges, CTG Brasil, is investing 3bn reals ($570mn) in six of its hydroelectric plants with combined capacity of 8.8GW, with the aim of increasing efficiencyby 20pc. Wind and solar power are projected to reach up to a combined 285GW of installed capacity by 2050.
Water under the bridge
The debottlenecking investments are more likely to proceed following the approval in August of legislation that resolves a five-year dispute between hydro generators and the government over power shortfalls during droughts. The law requires these firms to withdraw lawsuits against the government and settle an estimated R8.7bn in outstanding payments owed to thermal power plants for spot market purchases during extended spells of dry weather. In return, hydro plants will have their concession contracts extended by up to seven years.
The government has also issued a presidential decree removing some subsidies for renewable projects, including a 50pc discount on transmission fees and up to 100pc off distribution tariffs for wind, solar, biomass and small hydro plants.
But renewables subsidies will still amount to R4bn this year, and the cost will rise by R500mn/yr, the energy ministry estimates. It argues that such concessions are no longer needed for wind and solar projects, as they can compete on price with other forms of generation, including thermal plants and large hydro dams. In return, the ministry has pledged to work on regulations that recognise the lower environmental impact of wind and solar power, although it has not yet provided any details of its proposals.
Brazil power mix Jul 2020
Fonte: Argus News & analysis
Brazil targets onshore gas potential
15 Sep 20, 14:17 - Natural gas, Corporate, Investment and Financing, Joint ventures and alliances, Strategy, Politics, Regulation, Taxation and royalties
ANP has reduced royalties for onshore fields, with regulatory improvements set to follow
Sao Paulo, 15 September (Argus) — Brazil is aiming to boost onshore natural gas production as part of efforts to increase competition in the local market and supply gas to remote regions.
Onshore gas output has increased by 38pc over the past two decades to 19.7mn m3/d at present, while proven reserves stand at 70bn m3 or almost a fifth of Brazil's total, according to state-owned energy research company Epe.
In an effort to encourage further development, regulator ANP has been lowering royalties for onshore fields on a case-bycase basis. So far, over 80 fields have benefited. The cut is part of a push to revitalise onshore acreage, which could see a reduction in red tape, streamlined environmental licensing and other regulatory changes, following publication in July of the findings of a consultation looking at ways to stimulate activity in the sector.
"Offshore gas is getting a lot of attention, but onshore gas is important for the regional development of the market," Epe oil and gas superintendent Marcos Farias says. In particular, the development of gas-fired power generation in remote regions using onshore reserves is seen as critical to reducing their reliance on expensive diesel-fired output. The expansion of onshore gas production has dovetailed with the development of new technology, including gas compression and liquefaction equipment. These are seen as a cost-effective way of expanding the sector, as opposed to building pipelines, which are not viable in areas with lower volumes of gas, the chief executive of local firm Escopo Energia, Lavinia Hollanda, says.
Brazilian energy firm Eneva's 126.3MW Jaguatirica 2 gas-fired power plant will start operating next year, deploying gas from the Azulao onshore field in the Amazonas basin as feedstock. Production will be liquefied and transported by truck to supply the facility in nearby Roraima state.
US-Norwegian venture Golar Power in July signed a partnership with LNG firm Galileo Technologies for a number of projects involving liquefaction and regasification at small-scale plants in areas that are not connected to Brazil's gas distribution network. One of these will use gas produced at mature onshore fields in Bahia state, where the companies will install a 30 t/d micro-liquefaction plant.
The increased deployment of liquefaction and compression onshore has prompted ANP to revise its regulations to include these technologies, while the government is also seeking to encourage the reserves-to-wire model further.
Up for sale
Eneva now has 1.4GW of generation capacity in Maranhao state in the northeast that runs on non-associated gas. This renewed focus on onshore gas comes as state-controlled Petrobras continues to divest onshore assets, as it concentrates on its deepwater potential. The firm is responsible for three-quarters of Brazil's gas production, but Epe foresees this falling to 50pc by over the next decade.
Local energy trading firm Tradener in 2015 acquired two mature fields from Petrobras in Parana state, where it is installing a 10MW facility, scheduled to start up at the end of the year. "The plant can operate when there is demand and suspend generation when there is none," Tradener chief executive Walfrido Avila tells Argus. The company is also developing compressed natural gas capacity at the field, so gas can be used as a transport fuel.
Petrobras' decision to sell onshore gas fields in a number of basins together with gas processing units creates another opportunity, ANP infrastructure superintendent Helio Bisaggio says. The government's permanent upstream offer also aims to facilitate access to onshore fields. "This has been fundamental, because the timing of these projects doesn't always coincide with the auctions," Farias says. So far, exploration rights for 30 onshore fields have been sold in this way.
Brazil onshore gas production
Fonte: Argus News & analysis