Brazil will host a global clean energy event in 2024, the joint Ministerial for Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation (CEM15 and MI-9) it will occur in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, with Itaipu Binacional as host, a world leader in clean and renewable energy production, located at Foz do Iguaçu, southern Brazil. The dates of the events are yet to be defined. In 2024, Brazil will also chair the G20, a group of the world’s leading economies, and the government will connect the two events, CEM and MI, to the Energy Ministerial Meeting of the G20.
The fact that a hydroelectric power plant was chosen to host these events is a clear indicative of Brazil’s concern in maintaining a clean and renewable energy mix. According to the Energy Research Office, affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, renewable sources comprise almost half of Brazil’s energy mix, or 48.4%, while the world average is 15%. It is worthwhile recalling that non-renewable energy sources are the major emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG), the leading cause of climate change.
Regarding electricity generation, the Brazilian electrical mix is even more sustainable, reaching 82.9%, mainly due to the importance of hydroelectric plants and the growth of other renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and biomass. Brazil is committed to maintaining the share of renewables in the electricity mix, which should remain above 80% by 2030, reaching 85% by 2050.
Itaipu Binacional has particular importance in this scenario. The company results of a partnership between the governments of Brazil and Paraguay, an unprecedented international collaboration that has created a world leader in clean and renewable energy production. Diplomacy, sustainability, clean energy, and innovation are part of the company’s values, shared by the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI).
The company is the single plant that has produced most energy in history – since 1984, more than 2.9 million gigawatt-hours have been generated, which would be enough to supply the whole world for 46 days. And with the growth of other renewable energy sources, Itaipu contributes to the energy security of Brazil and Paraguay, guaranteeing the supply of energy at times of day when demand cannot be met by other sources (in the absence of wind or sunlight sun, for example).
In addition, Itaipu invests in environmental actions in Brazil and Paraguay. Itaipu is considered a model in sustainable management. The company promotes a series of initiatives to ensure the quantity and quality of water in the reservoir in the long term. One of the most important is conserving 100 thousand hectares of the Atlantic Forest surrounding the reservoir, in both margins. Due to this effort, the area gained the status of Biosphere Reserve by the Program “Man and the Biosphere” (MaB) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Another initiative is the investment in developing new sustainable energy sources, such as biogas plants, in the area of influence of the hydroelectric plant. The production of biogas from animal waste, especially swine and poultry, neutralizes the environmental impacts of agricultural production in the region that surrounds the reservoir. In addition, it contributes to the energy self-sufficiency of farm properties and generates economic benefits from delivering energy to the public network and, in the future, by generating carbon credits.
While the world is discussing how to promote the energy transition, the company is investing in the development of several renewable sources of energy generation. These activities are coordinated by Itaipu-Brasil Technological Park (PTI-BR), an instrument created by Itaipu Binacional in 2003 to contribute to the plant through initiatives aimed at technological development and innovation, especially in Itaipu’s region of influence. One of these projects is the Green Hydrogen Experimental Plant, a pioneering project for producing, storing, and applying this hydrogen.