Thursday, June 23, 2016

Energia eólica já abastece mais de 30% do Nordeste do Brasil.






Energia eólica: hoje, os parques em operação na região são responsáveis pelo abastecimento de boa parte da população local de 56 milhões de pessoas.

O vento forte que não para de soprar fez da pequena Icaraí de Amontada, na costa oeste do Ceará, uma ilha de usinas eólicas. Elas geram energia elétricausando a força dos ventos.
Ali, para qualquer lado que se olhe, modernas e gigantescas torres de quase 150 metros de altura - do tamanho de um prédio de 42 andares - destoam do cenário rústico da antiga vila de pescadores, com suas dunas, praias e lagoas. Reduto de atletas estrangeiros praticantes de kitesurf e windsurf, a comunidade, de 2,4 mil habitantes, entrou para a lista dos melhores ventos do Brasil e ajudou a elevar a participação da energia eólica para mais de 30% do consumo do Nordeste.
Os parques instalados na região de Amontada estão entre os mais eficientes do planeta. Enquanto no mundo, as usinas eólicas produzem, em média, 25% da capacidade anual, no Complexo de Icaraí esse porcentual é mais que o dobro.
As 31 torres que compõem o parque produzem 56% da capacidade anual. Para ter ideia do que isso significa, nos Estados Unidos, esse indicador é de 32,1%; e na Alemanha, uma das maiores potências eólicas do mundo, de 18,5%. "O vento noNordeste é muito diferenciado", afirma Luciano Freire, diretor de engenharia da Queiroz Galvão Energia, dona do complexo eólico de Icaraí.
É por causa da qualidade desse vento - forte e constante - que o Nordeste despontou como uma das maiores fronteiras eólica do mundo. Hoje, os parques em operação na região são responsáveis pelo abastecimento de boa parte da população local de 56 milhões de pessoas.
Não é difícil entender a rápida expansão das eólicas no Brasil. Em 2008, com a crise internacional, o consumo mundial de energia despencou, paralisou uma série de projetos e deixou as fábricas ociosas. Em busca de demanda, elas desembarcaram no Brasil - onde o uso da energia crescia a taxas de dois dígitos - e derrubou o preço das eólicas, até então caras por aqui. A partir de 2009, com leilões dedicados à essa fonte de energia, os investimentos decolaram. De lá pra cá, o setor recebeu R$ 67 bilhões, segundo dados da Associação Brasileira de Energia Eólica (Abeeólica).
Esse montante colocou o País na 10ª posição entre as nações com maior capacidade instalada do mundo. Foi um grande avanço. Até 2008, a potência do parque eólico brasileiro era de 27 megawatts (MW). No mês passado, alcançou a marca de 9,7 mil MW, volume suficiente para abastecer mais de 45 milhões de habitantes. No total, são 5.141 turbinas instaladas Brasil afora. Cerca de 82% delas estão no Nordeste.
Conta
Os moradores de Icaraí de Amontada ainda se fazem algumas perguntas. Questionam o impacto que as usinas podem causar à região no decorrer dos anos e não entendem por que continuam pagando uma conta de luz tão alta se os parques eólicos estão praticamente no seu quintal. "Deveríamos ter energia elétrica de graça", afirma Raimunda Alves dos Santos, que paga R$ 180 por mês de luz.
Entre os moradores, essa é uma reclamação recorrente. É difícil compreender por que uma energia produzida com o vento - que é de graça - pode ser tão cara. Se eles fizessem essa pergunta às empresas geradoras, teriam como resposta uma explicação complexa, que envolve toda a estrutura do setor. "O Brasil funciona como um sistema único, a precificação é nacional e não regional", diz a presidente da Associação Brasileira de Energia Eólica (Abeeólica), Elbia Gannoum.
Em outras palavras, significa dizer que todos os custos do setor são divididos entre todos os consumidores do País. Para a eólica começar a fazer diferença na conta de luz dos nordestinos, é necessário que ela ganhe participação não só na região, mas em todo o País.
Com alguns raros projetos de Pequenas Centrais Hidrelétricas (PCH) em desenvolvimento no Estado de Pernambuco e sem potencial para grandes hidrelétricas, a vocação do Nordeste tem se inclinado cada vez mais para a energia eólica. Segundo Elbia Gannoum, até 2020, a participação da energia do vento na matriz elétrica brasileira vai saltar dos atuais 6% para 20% da capacidade instalada. No Nordeste, essa participação será ainda maior, de 30%. Em termos de consumo, a fonte será capaz de atender cerca de 70% da carga da região em alguns momentos do dia.
Nos próximos três anos, diz Elbia, o volume de investimentos em novos parques será de R$ 40,8 bilhões. Ela destaca que cada megawatt de eólica instalado cria 15 postos de trabalho em toda cadeia produtiva, desde o canteiro de obras até a fabricação de pás, aerogeradores e torres. Seguindo o cálculo da Abeeólica e considerando que entre 2017 e 2019 estão previstos mais 6,8 mil MW de potência, o setor pode gerar 102 mil postos de trabalho.
As informações são do jornal O Estado de S. Paulo.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dubai Is Building the World's Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant



by George Dvorsky gizmodo

They like to do things big in Dubai, including a newly-approved concentrated solar power project that will generate 1,000 megawatts of power by 2020—and a whopping 5,000 megawatts by 2030.

The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has announced the launch of the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project. Located on a single site within the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the plant will consist of five facilities. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed either in late 2020 or 2021, at which time it’s expected to generate 1,000 MW of power. By 2030, this plant could be churning out five times that amount—enough to raise the emirate’s total power output by 25 percent.
By comparison the Ivanpah CSP in California (which is currently the world’s largest) generates about 392 MW of power. Morocco’s Ouarzazate solar power plant will provide about 580 MW of power once it’s complete in 2020.
Concentrated solar power plants, unlike solar energy drawn from photovoltaic cells, use a large array of mirrors (called heliostats) to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a small area, typically on top of a tower. Electricity is generated when the concentrated light gets converted to heat, which drives a steam turbine connected to an electrical power generator. An advantage of CSP is that thermal heat can be stored easily, making it possible to produce electricity after sunset.


The Dubai plant will have several thousand heliostats located around a tower. The resulting heat-transfer fluid will power a steam turbine to generate electricity. Incredibly, the new plant will deliver power at less than 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, down from the typical 15 kilowatt-hour rate. Once complete, the solar park is expected to reduce 6.5 million tons of carbon emissions each year. A typical coal plant produces around 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year.

The new plant is part of Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which will see the emirate generate seven percent of its total power from clean energy by 2020, followed by 25 percent in 2030, and 75 percent by 2050.




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Analysis: Solar beats coal over a whole month in UK for first time





By CarbonBrief.

The UK’s solar panels generated more electricity than coal in May 2016, the first-ever calendar month to pass the milestone, Carbon Brief analysis shows.
Solar generated an estimated 1,336 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in May, 50% more than the 893GWh output from coal. The finding follows on from Carbon Brief’searlier analysis showing solar beating coal for the first full day on 9 April 2016, and for the first week from 3 May 2016.
While these milestones are largely symbolic, they do highlight the major changes going on in the UK electricity system. For further context, analysis and data details see the previous coverage from Carbon Brief.

UK monthly electricity from solar and coal

The chart below shows that solar generated 50% more electricity than coal during May 2016. This was due to a combination of low coal output and the impact of longer days as summer approaches.
Total electricity generation from UK solar and coal during the calendar months April and May 2016, gigawatt hours (GWh). Sources: Sheffield Solar and Gridwatch. Chart by Carbon Brief.

Solar and coal shares of UK total

Solar generated nearly 6% of the UK’s electricity needs during May, against less than 4% for coal (see note below for details of this calculations). In January, the figures were just 1% for solar and 17% for coal.
There has been a huge reduction in coal-fired power generation in the UK since the start of 2016, as the chart below shows. Nearly a quarter of electricity generation in 2015 was from coal but since the, power market economics have shifted in favour of gas and several coal plants have opted to close.
Shares of total UK electricity generation met by solar and coal during January to May 2016 (%). Sources: Sheffield Solar andGridwatch. Chart by Carbon Brief.

UK weekly electricity from solar and coal

Solar has generated more electricity than coal in each of the past five weeks. Note that coal generation increased around the start of June as a result of low wind power output.
Total electricity generation from UK solar and coal during each week between 1 April 2016 and 2 June 2016, gigawatt hours (GWh). Sources: Sheffield Solar and Gridwatch. Chart by Carbon Brief.

UK daily electricity from solar and coal

Although solar has cumulatively outpaced coal in each week since the end of April, coal has topped solar on some days in May, as the chart below shows.
The UK passed a historic milestone in mid-May as coal output hit zero on seven periods across the week commencing Monday 9 May. Total daily coal output was near zero during 12-14 May. The zero-coal periods were reported by the Financial Times, thePress Association, the Telegraph and others, citing Carbon Brief analysis.
Total electricity generation from UK solar and coal on each day between 1 April 2016 and 6 June 2016, gigawatt hours (GWh). Sources: Sheffield Solar and Gridwatch. Chart by Carbon Brief.

Notes: The figures for shares of total UK electricity generation are estimates. They only include solar generation and other forms of generation that are connected to the transmission grid network. Embedded generation from wind or other sources is not centrally metered and data is not available. However, this missing data will not alter the relative positions of solar and coal generation.
Figures for solar output in the UK are estimates produced by Sheffield Solar. The project recently updated its estimates of installed UK solar capacity.
Main image: The solar panel of a parkmeter reflects the sky in a street of Durham, England. Credit: marcoventuriniautieri/Getty Images.




Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chile produz tanta energia solar, que agora é de graça.




Os preços à vista da energia solar chegaram a zero em algumas regiões do Chile durante 113 dias até abril - Mariana Greif / Bloomberg

SANTIAGO — A indústra solar do Chile se expandiu tão rapidamente que está gerando eletricidade gratuitamente. Os preços à vista chegaram a zero em algumas regiões do país durante 113 dias até abril, número que está a caminho de superar o total do ano passado, de 192 dias, segundo a operadora da rede central do país. Embora isto possa ser bom para os consumidores, é uma má notícia para as usinas de energia, em dificuldades para gerar receita, e para as empresas que buscam financiar novos parques.

A pior situação acontece na região norte do país, no deserto do Atacama. A crescente demanda por eletricidade do Chile, impulsionada pela expansão da produção das minas e pelo crescimento econômico, ajudou a estimular o desenvolvimento de 29 parques solares. Outros 15 estão nos planos da rede central. Agora, o Chile enfrenta a queda da demanda por energia devido à desaceleração da produção de cobre em meio a um excedente global, o que provoca um excesso de energia gerada em uma região que não possui linhas de transmissão para distribuir a eletricidade a outras partes.

“Os investidores estão perdendo dinheiro”, disse Rafael Mateo, CEO da unidade de energia da Acciona, que está investindo US$ 343 milhões (mais de R$ 1,2 bilhão) em um projeto de 247 megawatts na região e que será um dos maiores da América Latina. “O crescimento foi desordenado. Não se pode ter tantas empresas no mesmo lugar”.

Um dos principais problemas é que o Chile possui duas redes de energia principais, a central e a do norte, sem conexão entre si. Existem também áreas dentro das redes que não possuem uma capacidade de transmissão adequada.

Com isso, uma região pode ter muita energia, o que derruba os preços, porque o excedente não pode ser entregue a outras partes do país, segundo Carlos Barría, ex-chefe da divisão de energia renovável do governo e professor da Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Chile, em Santiago.

INFRAESTRUTURA INADEQUADA

O governo está trabalhando para corrigir este problema, com planos de construir uma linha de transmissão de 3 mil quilômetros para ligar as duas redes até 2017. Além disso, está desenvolvendo uma linha de 753 quilômetros para resolver o congestionamento nas partes norte da rede central, a região na qual os excedentes de energia estão levando os preços a zero.

“O Chile tem pelo menos sete ou oito pontos nas linhas de transmissão que estão em colapso e bloqueados e tem o enorme desafio de driblar os pontos de estrangulamento”, disse o ministro de Energia, Máximo Pacheco, em entrevista, em Santiago. “Quando você embarca em um caminho de crescimento e desenvolvimento como o que temos tido, obviamente surgem problemas”.


Leia mais sobre esse assunto em http://oglobo.globo.com/economia/chile-produz-tanta-energia-solar-que-agora-de-graca-19439822#ixzz4Ai7laARi
© 1996 - 2016. Todos direitos reservados a Infoglobo Comunicação e Participações S.A. Este material não pode ser publicado, transmitido por broadcast, reescrito ou redistribuído sem autorização. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Chinese Government Is Telling Its Citizens To Eat Less Meat



(via Co.Exist)

The global impact of 1.3 billion Chinese people reducing their meat consumption could be enormous.

Notwithstanding our collective cultural obsession with all things bacon, you might be surprised to learn that American and European meat consumption has actually been declining, per capita, over the last decade. That’s a good thing for both our health and the planet’s, but these positive trends are canceled out by Asian and African nations that are adopting more American-style diets. In China, meat consumption has quadrupled since the 1970s.

So it’s important news that the Chinese government has adopted new dietary guidelines that encourage its 1.3 billion citizens to eat less meat. Citing health concerns, it has suggested a person should eat a daily value of 40 grams of meat and poultry a day, down from 50 grams in its previous guidelines. In total, the government suggests meat, fish, and dairy consumption should be limited to 200 grams daily. If followed, according to Climate Progress, this would decrease global greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5%.


The key phrase is, of course, "if followed." The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says China’s per capita meat and dairy consumption is currently 300 grams daily, so the new value would require people scale back by 33%. That’s unlikely to happen entirely, but at minimum the guidelines could slow the growth of China’s animal cravings.

Animal agriculture has a major cost to the planet, responsible for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent Oxford University study suggested that if people ate their recommended doses of fruits and vegetables, by 2050, premature deaths would drop by 6% to 10%, greenhouse gas emissions would slow by anywhere from 30% to 70%, and trillions of dollars would be saved.

Though these are probably pie-in-the-sky numbers, China should be given credit for taking action, which is more than the United States has been able to do. A committee of scientists and health experts recently recommended to the U.S. government that American dietary guidelines should urge reduced red and processed meat consumption. But that suggestion was nixed in the USDA final  dietary guideline decision, after a lobbying frenzy by the meat industries. The government can take away America’s hot dogs out of its cold, dead-from-heart-disease hands.

Friday, May 27, 2016

G7 se compromete à pronta aplicação do Acordo de Paris - 48°51′24″N 2°21′03″E


O primeiro-ministro do Japão, Shinzo Abe, fala durante a cúpula do G7 em seu país




O ESTADO DE S.PAULO
 - Atualizado: 27 Maio 2016 | 06h 08

Líderes destacaram a importância de diminuir as emissões nocivas no curto prazo e adotar mudanças imediatas em nível nacional

ISE-SHIMA - Os líderes do G7 se comprometeram nesta sexta-feira, 27, a conseguir uma rápida implementação do Acordo de Paris sobre mudança climática e a realizar os passos necessários para conseguir sua ratificação em todos os países signatários em 2016.

Na declaração conjunta adotada pelos líderes de Alemanha, Canadá, Estados Unidos, França, Itália, Japão e Reino Unido ao término da cúpula, todos se mostraram de acordo em participar "ativamente" desta nova empreitada e em suas revisões a cada cinco anos.
Os líderes reiteraram sua intenção de continuar buscando meios de "proporcionar e mobilizar maior financiamento para o clima através de fontes públicas e privadas" e encorajaram outros países a se mobilizarem para potencializar o financiamento para o clima.
O G7 reconheceu que estão ocorrendo "progressos constantes" para se atingir o objetivo de mobilizar conjuntamente US$ 100 bilhões anuais para 2020 no marco das ações para conter a mudança climática, mas pediu à comunidade internacional que continue realizando esforços para ajudar os países emergentes a desenvolver seus próprios planos na matéria.
"Reconhecemos que a inovação é fundamental para conseguir uma resposta global eficaz no longo prazo para nosso objetivo" e mostraram sua intenção de desempenhar um papel-chave neste sentido.
O Acordo de Paris, formulado em dezembro do ano passado, fixou como meta que o aumento da temperatura média mundial ao final do século fique abaixo dos 2 graus centígrados em relação aos níveis pré-industriais.

As 200 nações signatárias, entre elas o G7, também se comprometeram a tentar impedir que a média de temperatura ultrapasse 1,5ºC e o acordo ainda deve ser ratificado em nível nacional pela maioria dos países que o assinaram.
Os líderes dos sete países mais industrializadas do mundo também destacaram a importância de diminuir as emissões nocivas no curto prazo e, nesse sentido, comprometeram-se a adotar medidas em nível nacional.
Os líderes enalteceram a ambição dos países que assinaram o protocolo de Montreal em 1987, que se reuniram recentemente em Dubai, e de sua decisão de trabalhar na luta contra os hidrofluorocarbonetos (HFC), e mostraram sua intenção de proporcionar apoio adicional a sua luta.
O G7 também se mostrou firme em sua determinação de eliminar os subsídios para os combustíveis fósseis ineficientes até 2025 e encorajou todos os países a fazer o mesmo. /EFE


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists

                                         











NYtimes 

SYDNEY, Australia — Kim Cobb, a marine scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, expected the coral to be damaged when she plunged into the deep blue waters off Kiritimati Island, a remote atoll near the center of the Pacific Ocean. Still, she was stunned by what she saw as she descended some 30 feet to the rim of a coral outcropping.
“The entire reef is covered with a red-brown fuzz,” Dr. Cobb said when she returned to the surface after her recent dive. “It is otherworldly. It is algae that has grown over dead coral. It was devastating.”
The damage off Kiritimati is part of a mass bleaching of coral reefs around the world, only the third on record and possibly the worst ever. Scientists believe that heat stress from multiple weather events including the latest, severe El Niño, compounded by climate change, has threatened more than a third of Earth’s coral reefs. Many may not recover.
Coral reefs are the crucial incubators of the ocean’s ecosystem, providing food and shelter to a quarter of all marine species, and they support fish stocks that feed more than one billion people. They are made up of millions of tiny animals, called polyps, that form symbiotic relationships with algae, which in turn capture sunlight and carbon dioxide to make sugars that feed the polyps.
An estimated 30 million small-scale fishermen and women depend on reefs for their livelihoods, more than one million in the Philippines alone. In Indonesia, fish supported by the reefs provide the primary source of protein.
“This is a huge, looming planetary crisis, and we are sticking our heads in the sand about it,” said Justin Marshall, the director of CoralWatch at Australia’s University of Queensland.
Bleaching occurs when high heat and bright sunshine cause the metabolism of the algae — which give coral reefs their brilliant colors and energy — to speed out of control, and they start creating toxins. The polyps recoil. If temperatures drop, the corals can recover, but denuded ones remain vulnerable to disease. When heat stress continues, they starve to death.

Damaged or dying reefs have been found from Réunion, off the coast of Madagascar, to East Flores, Indonesia, and from Guam and Hawaii in the Pacific to the Florida Keys in the Atlantic.
The largest bleaching, at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, was confirmed last month. In a survey of 520 individual reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef’s northern section, scientists from Australia’s National Coral Bleaching Task Force found only four with no signs of bleaching. Some 620 miles of reef, much of it previously in pristine condition, had suffered significant bleaching.
In follow-up surveys, scientists diving on the reef said half the coral they had seen had died. Terry Hughes, the director of the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Queensland, who took part in the survey, warned that even more would succumb if the water did not cool soon.

     
                                   


“There is a good chance a large portion of the damaged coral will die,” he added.
Scientists say the global bleaching is the result of an unusual confluence of events, each of which raised water temperatures already elevated by climate change.
In the North Atlantic, a strong high-pressure cell blocked the normal southward flow of polar air in 2013, kicking off the first of three warmer-than-normal winters in a row as far south as the Caribbean.
A large underwater heat wave formed in the northeastern Pacific in early 2014, and has since stretched into a wide band along the west coast of North America, from Baja California to the Bering Sea. Nicknamed the Blob, it is up to four degrees Fahrenheit warmer than surrounding waters, and has been blamed for a host of odd phenomena, including the beaching of hungry sea lions in California and the sighting of tropical skipjack tuna off Alaska.
Then came 2015, with the most powerful El Niño climate cycle in a century. It blasted heat across the tropical and southern Pacific, bleaching reefs from Kiritimati to Indonesia, and across the Indian Ocean to Réunion and Tanzania on Africa’s east coast.
“We are currently experiencing the longest global coral bleaching event ever observed,” said C. Mark Eakin, the Coral Reef Watch coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Maryland. “We are going to lose a lot of the world’s reefs during this event.”
Reefs that take centuries to form can be destroyed in weeks. Individual corals may survive a bleaching, but repeated bleachings can kill them.
Lurid reports of damaged reefs started coming in from worried scientists in the summer of 2014.
Lyza Johnston, a marine biologist in the Northern Mariana Islands, dived to the reefs off Maug, a group of small islands: “In every direction, nearly all of the corals were bright white.”
Misaki Takabayashi, a marine scientist at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, surfed the waves above the blue rice coral there: “I could see what looked like bleached white ghosts popping up off the ocean floor at me.”
Cory Walter, a senior biologist at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, peered down from a boat over Wonderland Reef off the Lower Florida Keys: “It almost looks like it snowed on the reef.”
Predicting the duration of the bleaching or forecasting the next one is difficult. The Blob has cooled somewhat, and El Niño, while weakening, is expected to stretch into 2017.
Dr. Eakin, the coral-reef specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said he expected the bleaching to continue for nine more months. Scientists will not be able to measure the full extent of the damage until it is over.

         
                                       


What is clear is that these events are happening with increasing frequency — and ferocity. The previous bleachings, in 2010 and 1998, do not appear to have been as extensive or prolonged as the current one.
The 1998 bleaching, which Dr. Eakin said had been set off by a fierce El Niño, killed around 16 percent of the world’s coral. By 2010, oceans had warmed enough that it took only a moderate El Niño to start another round.
Then in 2013, Dr. Eakin said, “a lot of bleaching happened due to climate change, before the El Niño had even kicked in.”
Reefs that were bleached in 2014, like those in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean, had no time to regenerate before suffering further thermal stress from El Niño last year, leaving the coral vulnerable to disease and death.
The reefs in the Florida Keys “are about to go into a third year straight of bleaching, something that has never happened before,” said Meaghan Johnson, a marine scientist at the Nature Conservancy. “We are worried about disease and mortality rates.”
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, the director of Australia’s Global Change Institute, noted that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded, both on land and in the oceans — breaking a record set just the year before.
“Rising temperatures due to climate change have pushed corals beyond their tolerance levels,” he said, adding that back-to-back bleaching can be particularly deadly to the corals.
El Niño warms the equatorial waters around Kiritimati Island more than anywhere else in the world, making it a likely harbinger for the health of reefs worldwide. That is why Dr. Cobb, the Georgia Tech scientist who made the recent dive, has been making the trek at least once a year for the past 18 to the tiny atoll, part of the Line Islands archipelago.
Though the atoll sits just north of the Equator, trade winds suck water up from the depths of the ocean, usually keeping the water temperature surrounding the reefs a healthy, nearly constant 78 degrees.
But in 2015, the expected upwelling of deep, cold water did not happen, Dr. Cobb said, speaking by satellite phone after her dive. So water in the atoll was 10 degrees warmer than normal, and never cooled enough to allow coral to recover.
“The worst has happened,” she said. “This shows how climate change and temperature stresses are affecting these reefs over the long haul. This reef may not ever be the same.”