Rural and Urban Transitions with Biogas and Biomethane in Brazil: a Water-Energy-Food Nexus Analysis

J.C. Pasqual, H. A. Bollmann, C. Scott, S. Andersen, M. V. Lange



Brazil has historical concerns about renewable sources of energy, mainly because it is the largest tropical country in the world, receiving intense solar radiation, which is the basis of biomass production. In addition, the country has exceptional soil and climate conditions and great biodiversity. Agriculture and livestock activities are very representative in the Brazilian economy and produce usable biomass, which entail renewable sources of energy and the need for residue
management. In this context, biogas represents a basic energy source; it is generated via planned treatment of animal, human and industrial wastes. This has two main results: a) the generation of electric, thermal, and vehicular (biomethane) energy; and b) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and resultant mitigation of global warming. This paper assesses agricultural biogas projects being developed by Itaipu Binational, the second largest hydroelectric power generation company in the world, which has diversified its energy production from hydropower into other renewable sources such as biogas. In addition to promoting environmental and economic benefits, it promotes local social development, since the process for biogas production constitutes and sustains a relatively complex supply chain, requiring local skilled labor, technical and scientific support, and environmental awareness in the population. We conclude with implications of the Itaipu biogas case example for a range of other contexts.

Published in: Renewable Energy & Power Quality Journal (RE&PQJ, Nº. 14)
Pages: 84-89 Date of Publication: 2016/5/20
ISSN: 2172-038X Date of Current Version:2016/05/04
REF: 233-16 Issue Date: May 2016
DOI:10.24084/repqj14.233 Publisher: EA4EPQ

Authors and affiliations

J.C. Pasqual(1,2,3), H. A. Bollmann(1), C. Scott(3), S. Andersen(4), M. V. Lange(4)
1. Master's and Doctoral Program in Urban Management, Pontifical Catholic. University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná. Brazil
2. International Center of Renewable Energies – Biogas and International Center of Hydroinformatics, Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná. Brazil
3. Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy/ School of Geography & Development, University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona. United States
4. Post Graduate Programme in Environment and Development (PPGMADE), Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná. Brazil.

Key words

Renewable energy, biogas, animal waste, environmental management, power generation.


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