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Cogeneration in Brazil reaches a level of 19.57 GW

Installed capacity of cogeneration in commercial operation in Brazil represents 10.7% of our electricity matrix (182.1 GW)

Cogeneration in commercial operation in Brazil had an increase of 410.74 MW in January 2022. The information is part of DataCogen, a monthly survey by the Energy Cogeneration Industry Association (Cogen).

In January, 1.43 MW of biogas were added to the system as a result of the expansion of supply at the Asja Jaboatão plant (Jaboatão dos Guararapes – PE) and 409.31 MW of black liquor from the new Bracell plant (Lençóis Paulista – SP) - - UTE Bracell is the largest biomass thermoelectric plant in the country and has three generating units in a cogeneration system.

In the country, cogeneration has 634 plants with 19.57 GW of installed capacity — which corresponds to 10.7% of the Brazilian electricity matrix (182.1 GW). This is equivalent to 1.4 times the total installed capacity of the Itaipu hydroelectric plant.

Of the 19.57 GW of all existing cogeneration in the country, 61% correspond to the production of energy powered by sugarcane biomass. On the other hand, cogeneration powered by natural gas occupies a share of 16.1%. In third, with 15.7%, is black liquor (a by-product of the chemical treatment process in the pulp and paper industry). Cogeneration derived from wood chips reaches 4.3% and that produced via biogas accounts for 1.9% Other sources complete the picture.

“Cogeneration is firm energy, which brings security to the electrical system. In 2021, cogeneration made a very important contribution to energy supply at a time when the country was going through one of its most serious water crises”, explains Cogen executive president Newton Duarte.

“We understand that biomass cogeneration, in particular, has a series of attributes that could be better recognized in the country's energy planning - it is competitive, renewable and distributed - being generated close to the main consumption points - and it has power, the which is fundamental for a more balanced matrix”, highlights Duarte.

According to Cogen's Director of Technology and Regulation, Leonardo Caio Filho, biomass cogeneration has been fundamental for the country's energy security. “It has been helping to save 15 percentage points on the level of hydroelectric reservoirs in the Southeast/Midwest subsystem, which represents the main consumer market in the country.”

In the ranking by biomass cogeneration federation units, the State of São Paulo leads the list with 7.4 GW installed. In second is Mato Grosso do Sul, with 1.9 MW installed. Then come Minas Gerais (1.7 GW installed), Goiás (1.4 GW installed) and 1.3 GW installed).

Among the five industrial sectors that most use cogeneration are Sugar and Energy (11,964 MW), Pulp and Paper (2,924 MW), Petrochemical (2,305 MW), Wood (799 MW) and Food and Beverage (624 MW)


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