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Biomass Markets in Brazil Continue to Expand

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Brazil has a large amount of biomass stock available. Last year, the country accounted for more than 20 billion MWh of power generation through biomass, according to a new report titled Biomass Industry in Brazil, which Research and Markets, Dublin, Ireland, has now added to its offering. Brazil's lush green forests spread over 6.3 million hectares of land, which basically consists of pine and eucalyptus, has set the country with abundance in biomass feedstock. Hydroelectric power and natural gas dominate Brazil's electricity generation capacity.

Brazil's total installed renewable power capacity was 14 GW in 2011, including the key renewable sectors—ethanol, biomass, and small hydroelectric power leading the country's renewable power supply. Historically, hydroelectric power has dominated Brazil's electricity supply, with more than 80% of electricity being fed into the grid.

Brazil's most abundant biomass feedstock is sugarcane, according to the report, which makes cogeneration the most viable biomass technology for installation across the country. Brazil has abundant forest residues, which can be used as a source for electricity generation in that country. Currently, the majority of Brazil's sugarcane is grown in the northeast region around Sao Paulo.

Surplus electricity generated from the existing sugar factories in Brazil is fed to the power grid. Biomass power plant size is often driven by biomass availability in close proximity as transport costs of the (bulky) fuel play a key factor in the plant's economics. It has to be noted, however, that rail and especially shipping on waterways can reduce transport costs significantly, which has led to a global biomass market, the report points out.


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