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Brazil will be a part of the Unido network for Renewable Energies
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The International Center of Renewable Energies – Biogas (CIBiogás-ER) developed by Itaipu and other 19 partner entities will be a part of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) world network for Renewable Energies.   
The network is made of eight international centers. The others are located in China, Italy, Turkey, India, and Cape Verde. The announcement was made this Tuesday, May 28, by Unido general director, Kandeh Yumkella, at the Vienna Energy Forum, at Austria.  
The event had the participation of political leaderships and authorities of the renewable energies area from all over the world. The Brazilian general director of Itaipu, Jorge Samek, takes part of the forum as a guest lecturer and also as a representative of the Mines and Energy minister, Edison Lobão, who could not be present.
Opened one week ago, CIBiogás-ER is installed at Edifício do Saber (Knowledge Building), at Itaipu’s Technology Park (PTI) in Foz do Iguaçu, and is the first of its kind in Latin America.
The installation process took less than one year after the negotiations between the Brazilian general director and Unido director started. Such speed called the attention and was complimented by Yumkella.   

The creation of an international center with emphasis in biogas was proposed in 2011. The idea gained support by the end of the same year, at Unido's 14th General Conference in Vienna, and was ratified last year, in Brazil, during the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development - Rio+20.
During the announcement of CIBiogás-ER, on this Tuesday, Unido’s director emphasized the important partnership with Brazil, specifically with Itaipu Binacional, to give impulse to renewable energies.
A little before the opening ceremony of the forum, during a breakfast at the house of Brazilian ambassador Evandro Didonet, Yumkella reaffirmed the need to have Brazilian technicians on his staff, in the hydropower and bioenergy areas.
For Jorge Samek, with this partnership with Unido, the Itaipu hydroelectric plant, the biggest producer of clean and renewable energy of the planet, is also becoming a reference in research for the micro-generation of energy from biogas.
What it is
CIBiogás-ER is a scientific, technological, and innovation institution that resulted from a partnership between Itaipu Binacional, Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras) and Unido.
There are other 19 entities, all acting directly or indirectly in the biogas field, involved with the project. Among them, Itamaraty, Eletrobras/Cepel, the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MDA), Embrapa, the Center of Gas and Renewable Energies Technologies CTGAS-ER, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Industry Federation of Paraná (Fiep).
According to the superintendent of Itaipu’s Renewable Energies, Cícero Bley Júnior, the integration of the center with the Unido network places biogas in international discussions, and Itaipu also starts to be acknowledged as a reference in bioenergy.
One of the goals of the new entity is to “organize, develop, follow up, and support programs, researches, and projects for making biogas viable as a generator of energy and its sub-products” – as provided by the statute approved by the partners.
“CIBiogás-ER will be a tool for the interaction of scientific and technological sectors with the productive sector. We hope that this experience is able to help Brazil and other countries to include biogas in their energy matrix”, said Jorge Samek. “Biogas is a clean and renewable source, as well as hydropower”, he emphasized.
Environment solution
Cícero Bley said that the generation of energy from biogas, in addition to offering a new and important alternative of income to rural producers, represents a solution for a severe environment problem.
Currently, most waste from the stockbreeding production (creation of cattle, pigs, and birds) contaminated the soil and is taken to rivers and lakes by the rain, aside from contributing to global heating. That occurs because the methane gas freed from organic decomposition is 20 times more pollutant than carbon dioxide (CO2).
With biogas, the problem becomes a solution. The waste is taken to biodigesters, for the extraction of methane, which can be later converted into thermal, electric, and vehicle energy. The sub-product of the activity is a strong biofertilizer. Everything is reutilized.
The experience leaded by Itaipu at the Agro-energy Condo for Family Agriculture at the Microbay of the Ajuricaba River, at Marechal Cândido Rondon, on the West side of Paraná, shows that the project is viable even in small properties.
At Ajuricaba, a 25.5 kilometer gas pipeline was built, passing through 34 small rural properties and taking biogas to one electric micro-central. The generated energy supplies the properties and the surplus is sold to Copel.
Cícero Bley reminds that the use of biodigesters in rural environments started to gain strength at the 1970’s. However, the alternative disappeared due to the lack of an institution that would treat biogas as a viable economic activity. “Now, CIBiogás-ER will fulfill that role”, he said.
Still according to him, the current project involves representative institutions, all of them with interface at the biogas area, and the tendency is to create a large national network - also making statistic surveys viable. Currently, there are no official data on the producers of biogas in Brazil and its volume.
"Only in the State of Paraná, 103 cities are highlighted as animal producers. In them, it would be possible to install a network of micro-generators of energy in the order of 111.5 megawatts”, Bley estimated.
Considering only the West side of the State, there would be a potential of 56.5 megawatts, a volume higher than that produced by a small hydroelectric central (PCH). “That is only considering the production of pigs and milking cows”, he added. Methane can also be extracted from urban garbage, for example.
“The new International Center of Renewable Energies establishes in Brazil, and in Itaipu, specially, a reference in the production of biogas. It is an institution that is being created with great enthusiasm and can take, in the future, the biogas experience to all regions of the world”, he added.
Cícero Bley Júnior is the general director of CIBiogás-ER. The advisor of the Brazilian Board of Directors of Itaipu and coordinator of the Sustainability Management System, Herlon Goelzer de Almeida, occupies the position of director of technology development. The position of financial administrative director is occupied by Soraya Penzin, of the Itaipu Technology Park Foundation (FPTI).