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VETT in Brazil

VETT technology is making exciting headway in Brazil, a country which is the second largest producer of hydroelectricity worldwide and where hydropower corresponds to 62% of the electricity mix. There are predominantly low head resources remaining with much of the potential located in Brazil’s central region and the Amazon Basin.


Image: Map Highlighting the Central Region of Brazil

In these environmentally sensitive regions, to build a high dam could flood vast areas, destroy vast ecosystems and negatively impact many indigenous communities. This makes Environmental Agency approvals difficult, if not impossible.

 

Projects in the Amazon are typically very big or very small. Very small projects could be off grid schemes for local communities, as the Amazon has many areas not served by the national grid. Many communities are therefore still reliant on diesel generators. Large projects have the additional complexity of needing long transmission lines to be built, which can make economics difficult for developers.

 

As many Amazon regions are very flat, they present suitable conditions for the deployment of small run-of-river, very low-head hydro, which can harness natural drops instead. This minimises environmental and social impacts while providing decentralised energy for local consumption, reducing grid constraints. The VETT system can play a vital role in this sector, when installed in off-grid and mini grid arrangements. 

 

The Brazilian Market

When looking at the Brazilian market it is important to mention the ‘Net Metering System’, which allows the energy to be produced in one place and consumed somewhere else. In Brazil, this scheme is called ‘Distributed Generation’, as the energy is not generated by one huge power plant, but instead, is generated by many smaller plants distributed around the country. This incentive makes a big difference for the economics of small schemes.

 

Although solar and wind are growing rapidly in the country, the hydro industry is well established with many suppliers for turbines, generators, and control systems. This helps to control project costs as importing can be very expensive. Economics for low head sites are however tricky when compared to solar. Most turbine suppliers currently don’t undertake projects with heads below 10m because the projects are not economically viable with standard technologies. That’s why the low cost VETT can make a big difference to the market. 


 

VerdErg Renewable Energy is very active in the Brazilian market with several exciting projects kicking off that will generate clean energy as well as carbon credits for corporations. We have an established network of suppliers and consultants and can see a good opportunity for VETT technology to expand in Brazil.

 

For enquiries or for more information, please contact: Karla Quintão (Senior Engineer & Market Lead, South America) at enquiries@verderg.com  

 

 

VerdErg Renewable Energy is pleased to attend the 7th ABRAPCH conference in Brasília, 19-20 March, 2024 and looks forward to meeting with current and new contacts. Please get in touch to arrange a meeting with Renato Martins (Director, Finance & Strategy) and Karla Quintão (Senior Engineer & Market Lead, South America), during the event by emailing enquiries@verderg.com 

 

 

 

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