Espírito Santo launches atlas to enter the offshore wind energy route

With an estimated potential of 142,000 gigawatts (GW) for offshore wind and 18,300 GW onshore, Espírito Santo wants to join the international investment route for the generation of renewable energy on the Brazilian coast.

This Friday (8/26), the state government of Espírito Santo launched, together with the industry federation Findes, an online platform mapping the state’s wind potential. The atlas is the result of cooperation with the German government, which is considering the technology to develop a hydrogen economy. The study reviews a 2009 survey, which at the time identified a potential 4.7 GW.

“This potential [142,000 GW] surprised even the most optimistic researchers in the field. Espírito Santo, with these data, is once and for all on the path of the main wind energy exploration scenarios in Brazil”, said Ricardo Pessanha, Secretary of Science, Technology and Economic Development of ES (Sectides).

The mapped energy would be enough to cover half of Brazil’s annual consumption.

“Obviously this depends on a full scan, which is very difficult to do. But it gives us the dimension of the potential that Espírito Santo has,” he added.

The state’s experience with oil and gas is considered an advantage factor, given its experience in offshore exploration.

This is what has happened in other parts of the world. The UK, for example, has drawn on its expertise in offshore oil exploration and is now the world leader in offshore wind power, with 10.5 GW in operation and a pipeline of projects that could lead to an additional 76 GW.

In the European North Sea, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark plan to install at least 65 GW of wind capacity by 2030 and 150 GW by 2050.

In Brazil there is a lack of regulation, but the private sector already has more than 169.4 GW in 66 projects with license requests at Ibama. Most in Rio Grande do Sul (56.7 GW in 20 parks) and Ceará (48.4 GW in 18 projects).
The Holy Spirit has so far failed to attract much attention. According to August data from Ibama, the state has four projects with a license request, totaling approximately 5.7 GW.

These are projects of Votu Winds (1.4 GW), Geradora Eólica Brigadeiro II (495 MW), Bluefloat Energy (1.2 GW) and Shell (2.5 GW).

For Rachel Freixo, Undersecretary of Sectides, a State program, financing, research and tax incentives are needed.

“There are some tools for these projects to be carried out, from financing to technological renovation,” she says.

“Brazil is still very timid when it comes to offshore wind power. We have just had a regulatory framework approved by the Senate and there is a whole path to develop (…). A little publicized National Hydrogen Plan, because it has not yet become a federal agenda, but the states have organized themselves”.

In the deputy secretary’s assessment, the recently launched renewable energy incentive package in the US demystifies the narrative against subsidies for new energy.

At this point, Rachel says that Espírito Santo, with fiscal incentives to import wind turbines and export energy, is strategically positioned to attract private investment.