Energy - Brazil
Energy systems around the world are changing from fossil to renewable sources. Brazil has an abundance of clean energy sources at the ready. A successful global energy transition requires countries to collaborate, working together to innovate, develop new technologies, and invest together to build the required infrastructure. The Netherlands is already present in energy transition in Brazil through partnerships and projects, involving businesses, research institutes and government channels. But more can be done. Much more. Brazil and The Netherlands working towards cleaner energy solutions, solving global challenges together.
From offshore fossils to offshore wind
Many of the global energy majors are key players in the Brazilian offshore energy market. Most of these have embarked upon a process of becoming overall energy suppliers instead of mere fossil fuel producers. Petrobras, Shell, TotalEnergies, etc. have all identified Brazil as a country that holds great potential for their drive to become greener and cleaner, and offshore wind parks feature prominently in their plans. The Netherlands has long provided services to the offshore sector in Brazil and will continue to do so. Coupled with the country’s renowned world-wide expertise in maritime construction, The Netherlands is uniquely positioned to help unlock the offshore wind sector in Brazil.
All this clean electricity from on- and offshore wind parks and from solar power needs to go somewhere. Some of it will be directly consumed by large companies, cities, individual households. Another part can be used to produce green hydrogen (GH2), making the energy transportable and exportable. Off-takers of GH2 are consumers in Brazil (manufacturing industries, fertilizer plants, mining companies) and abroad (Europe’s industrial heartland). In order to transport the GH2 to Europe Netherlands’ ports are indispensable: Rotterdam, Groningen, Amsterdam. In the wake of Netherlands’ port expertise already being applied in Brazil, Dutch companies are following suit.
Biofuels and biogas
Brazil’s agricultural sector is known for large agricultural complexes both for plant production as well as animal husbandry. Brazilian law requires that the wastes produced by these agro-complexes must be digested before being discharged. By consequence, Brazil already has a huge biogas production. Dutch companies are in the vanguard of innovations, offering specialized technologies e.g. for upgrading of biogas that would allow it to be injected into the national gas grid. Similarly, Brazil is known for its expertise in the production of biofuels. Recent innovations are exploring the use of bio-wastes and bio-ethanol for the production of green hydrogen. Brazil and the Netherlands cooperate to achieve turn-key solutions to promote and facilitate business opportunities in the sector.
Acting on sustainability can go hand-in-hand with economic benefits and job creation. The concept of Circular Economy is built on this: modify economic processes to use less primary inputs, re-use wastes as source materials, and apply innovative technologies that generate jobs and well-being. Brazil and the Netherlands started collaboration on Circular Economy in 2015. A collaboration that generated multiple joint actions. In 2020 the Dutch Circular Economy Association and the State of Rio de Janeiro’s Federation of Industries (Firjan) signed a cooperation agreement towards introducing circular business concepts within the private sector industry in Brazil (not only in Rio). Since then, a series of events and exchange visits were organized to bring expertise on circular economy to businesses in Brazil. And the future holds more for this collaboration between Brazil and The Netherlands. For example, it is planned to host in the Holland Circular Hotspot event in Brazil in 2024.