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Engie Brasil sets net-zero goal by 2045 and aims for 100% renewables

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Engie Brasil sets net-zero goal by 2045 and aims for 100% renewables

Engie Brasil is one of the largest electric utilities in Brazil, with an installed capacity of 9,000 megawatts. With 11 hydroelectric plants, 50 wind plants, and 9 solar farms, sustainability is its focus. Its goal is net-zero by 2045. To that end, it is committed to generating all of its electricity with renewable energy and is building the transmission to make it happen. It is formerly known as Tractebel Energia, and its primary shareholder is Paris-based Engie. - EnvironmentalLeader

Indeed, in its quest to decarbonize, the company divested its Jorge Lacerda Thermoelectric Complex in October 2021. And it has reduced CO2 emissions by 6.8% since 2020, and the intensity of those same emissions has fallen by 13% since 2020. Meantime, its energy consumption — electricity and fuel — has fallen by 8 percent during the same time.

Linked to each other and to the planet on which we live, we shall continue working on what matters to society, based on ongoing consultations with the communities and other stakeholders, at the same time in which we advance in a consistent way towards the construction of a better future which includes the accessible and fair energy transition without leaving anyone behind.

Eduardo Sattamini, chief executive officer

For example, its sustainable expansion includes new generation and infrastructure projects. Among these is the Campo Largo Phase II Wind Complex in Bahia, which goes into commercial operation in August. As a whole, its wind farms now provide 1.2 GW of installed capacity. As for infrastructure, it is building the Gralha Azul Transmission System and the Novo Estado substation — one that resulted in the deaths of some company employees. As of year-end 2021, it says it generated nearly 96% of electricity with renewables. 

Specifically, of the 8,100 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, nearly 80% is from hydro, 15.6% from wind, 3.2% from solar photovoltaic, and 1.6% from biomass. Its renewable capacity jumped from 86.2% in 2020 to 95.8% in 2021 because it sold the Jorge Lacerda Thermoelectric Complex. It is working with GE Renewable Energy to build these plants, especially its wind farms.

What is Engie Brasil doing to reduce its emissions, water usage, and waste?

Ten of its power plants are registered with the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism — assets that count toward its carbon reduction efforts. They account for 3 million annual carbon credits. 

— In 2020, it set out to reduce by at least 43 MtCO2 e the total greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of its electric energy — out of 80 MtCO2 e in 2019. In 2021, it stood at 67 MtCO2 e. 

— In 2020, it set out to increase its renewable sources worldwide to 58% — compared to 28% in 2019. In 2021, it was 34%. 

— It seeks to have all of its preferred suppliers comply with the Science-Based Targets initiative, which aims to keep temperatures in check and is aligned with the Paris climate agreement; Engie Brasil is part of the same pact. As of 2021, 40% of its suppliers are party to this agreement. 

— It aims to reduce its water consumption by 35% in 2030 compared to 2020. As of 2021, it is down by 12%. That’s because renewable energy uses less water than the coal-fired plant it sold. “The largest demand for water is in thermoelectric generation given the demand for steam and other industrial processes such as heavy bottom ash extraction from the boilers. Reutilization technologies have been installed to reduce the amount of water withdrawal. In the case of these units as well as all the others, effluent generated is monitored accordingly in alignment with the requirements of the legislation.”

The World Policy Institute says that coal-and-oil-fired power plants consume twice the water as gas-fired facilities, while nuclear generation needs three times that of .natural gas. It adds that wind and rooftop solar power use less water than competing forms of energy production.

Electric utilities and energy companies compete with farmers and ranchers for water rights …. (T)hese intertwined sectors will witness increased stresses due to climate changes that are projected to reduce water quality … and change heating and cooling electricity demand ….

the US National Climate Assessment

And waste? The company prioritizes the recycling, reuse, and recovery of materials. As a result, it says that in 2021, it recovered 82.2% of total waste. Further, the volume of waste it generates remained relatively between 2020 and 2021, increasing by just 0.23%.

Non-hazardous waste for disposal in 2021 totaled 2,531,768.28 tons, approximately 98% corresponding to ash from coal-burning in the thermoelectric plants. This ash is dispatched to the cement industry and partially to coal mine pits from where the coal was originally extracted.

the company says

Despite the sale of the company’s unit, it added that the volume of coal ash increased by 20% between 2020 and 2021.

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