Offshore wind power will help Brazil’s energy transition

Brazil’s wind energy sector is expected to continue expanding in the coming years.

With the standardization of the regulatory framework for offshore wind energy, the sector is expected to continue expanding.

After two years of discussions, a bill establishing the regulatory framework drafted by the then senator and current president of Petrobras, Jean-Paul Plates, is expected to be voted on in the Chamber of Deputies at the end of this year.

The global wind energy market is booming. It is expected to jump from 10 GW in 2022 to 46 GW in 2030, according to a report prepared by the consulting firm A&W in collaboration with the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica). According to the study, for every gigawatt of offshore capacity, between 11,000 and 34,000 jobs can be created throughout the production chain.

A 2020 report published by the Energy Research Company (EPE) linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy showed that Brazil’s technical potential to generate electricity through the installation of offshore wind turbines reaches 700 GW. In its ten-year plan until 2032, EPE expects electricity consumption to grow by 3.4% and that the offshore wind potential is equivalent to more than three times the existing energy capacity in Brazil.

Until October, the Brazilian Institute of Environment, Nature and Renewable Resources, Ibama, received requests for environmental impact studies for around 13 thousand wind turbines, divided into 78 projects.

The construction, maintenance and development process of offshore wind farms is more difficult than that of onshore wind farms. The development and construction of offshore wind farms is expected to take at least five years and cost up to $4,700 per kilowatt of installed capacity, about twice as much as onshore wind turbines.

Furthermore, marine infrastructure is an even more hostile environment and, in addition to the tides, the wind itself also creates difficulties during the assembly phase.

However, the advantages of offshore wind installations over land-based ones are that the blades, towers and structures of the wind turbines are larger, absorb more wind and the equipment is more easily transported by sea.