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Brazilian Government Ramps Up Work on Offshore Wind, Green Hydrogen

Brazil’s Ministry of Mining and Energy and Energy Research Office (EPE) have published a new version of the country’s offshore wind roadmap following recent updates of the regulatory framework for energy generation. According to a recent report by Reuters, the country’s government also plans to establish a regulative framework for offshore wind and green hydrogen by the end of this year.

The new offshore wind roadmap now includes considerations regarding the assignment of federal areas for offshore wind development in accordance with Brazil’s law on regularisation, administration, leasing and disposal of areas (Law No. 9.636/1998).

First published in 2020, the roadmap identifies 700 GW of offshore wind potential off Brazilian states’ coasts, while World Bank’s estimates from 2019 put the country’s technical potential at 1,228 GW: 748 GW for floating wind and 480 GW for fixed-bottom.

Reuters reported on 27 June that Brazil’s Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira revealed the government planned to pass a regulatory framework for offshore wind and green hydrogen by the end of this year.

Brazil took its first major step forward on offshore wind last year, when the government issued a Decree which enables the identification and assignment of physical spaces and national resources within the country’s inland waters, the territorial sea, the offshore exclusive economic zone, and the continental shelf for the development of offshore wind projects.

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The country has also received a show of massive interest from energy companies into building offshore wind farms in its waters.

So far, 74 applications for environmental investigation licences in connection with offshore wind projects have been submitted to the Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA), totalling almost 183 GW of capacity across all the proposed projects.

Many of the projects have been proposed by European developers, including oil & gas majors TotalEnergies, Shell, and Equinor and floating wind developers BlueFloat and Qair, with Brazil’s Petrobras teaming up with Equinor.

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Green hydrogen is also part of some of the proposals, such as that from Neoenergia, Iberdrola’s subsidiary in Brazil, which plans to build 3 GW offshore wind farms in three Brazilian states, including Rio Grande do Sul, where the company had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State Government to pursue the development of offshore wind and a project for the production of green hydrogen.

One of the offshore wind applications filed with IBAMA is from H2 Green Power, a green hydrogen developer which had also signed an agreement with the Government of Ceará for green hydrogen production at the Pecém Industrial and Port Complex.

Qair, which also has offshore wind plans in this Brazilian state, also entered into an agreement with the Ceará government to power a green hydrogen plant at the Pecém Industrial and Port Complex with offshore wind.

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