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- Updating the power plant
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Itaipu and Renewable Energies
Itaipu Binacional, in association with a number of partners, has been working on an environment favorable to the development of renewable energy resources within the region of the plant's reservoir.
This area is notably dedicated to livestock farming, especial the conversion of plant protein into animal, with the cultivation of maize and soybeans integrated with poultry, pig and dairy farming.
These activities have a strong environmental impact, especially so in terms of waste generation. If this animal waste is not correctly treated, it accumulates in rivers and, eventually, in the Itaipu reservoir. This in turn contributes to eutrophication of the lake and the generation of greenhouse gases.
As such, among the renewable sources available in the region, biogas – a result of the treatment of residual biomass from livestock farming and a source of initially unperceived income – has gained special attention.
Biomass energy generation basically consist of using the biogas released by decomposing organic matter – in biodigestors – to drive motor generators. The energy produced is enough to cover all the farm's energy requirements, or at least guarantee supply during peak hours, when energy costs are higher.
Thanks to a tropical climate, which accelerates the decomposition process, Brazil has vast potential to produce energy this way. It is also a system that can be used on a number of small farms, in a cooperative system. Another advantage is high quality biofertilizers, a byproduct of the biodigestion process.
After proving the commercial, technical and economic viability on different production scales, Itaipu joined 15 other institutions and created the International Center of Renewable Energies-Biogas –CIBiogás-ER, headquartered at the Itaipu Technology Park – PTI, and which currently boasts 11 national demonstration units, as well as one abroad (in Uruguay), under development.
The Center's goal is to support the development of public policies that regulate and encourage the use of biogas, while also developing strategies related to the generation of knowledge and the transfer of technology.
To learn more about CIBiogás actions, visit www.cibiogas.org
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