With biogas, Amazon states can generate electricity for over 2 million people

In the midst of yet another energy crisis, Brazil literally throws away more than 1TWh of electricity


While Brazil faces yet another water and electricity crisis, paying higher electricity bills and still running the risk of being left in the dark, Instituto Escolhas is releasing a new study showing that biogas has an enormous potential to generate energy in the Amazon while contributing to waste management.

The study “Biogas: clean energy for the Amazon”, released this monday, shows that, in the Amazon states, it is possible to produce 537 million m3 of biogas per year and generate 1.1 TWh of electricity – enough to supply 556 thousand homes and benefit 2.2 million people. This potential is found in the use of urban waste (garbage collected by municipalities) and waste from fish farming and the production of cassava flour, two important activities in the Amazon bioeconomy.

Some 98% of the region’s potential for biogas generation comes from urban waste. In addition to generating energy, its use allows for adequate treatment of waste collected in municipalities, contributing to the environment, sanitation, and sustainable development of the Amazon. Today, only 6% of urban waste in the Amazon is used to generate energy, in landfills in Manaus (AM) and Rosário (MA).

Larissa Rodrigues, a project manager at Escolhas, emphasizes that, in addition to the energy issue, the use of biogas can represent an important incentive to transform the 243 open-air dumps and 51 controlled landfills that exist in the region, providing adequate treatment for waste.

“These units should no longer exist, and clean energy from biogas can be an important component to enable the necessary investments to transform them into sanitary landfills, contributing to solving a serious sanitary and environmental problem,” she notes.

In addition, biogas can ensure safe energy and reduce the costs of fish farming activities and cassava flour production, boosting these businesses.

The study stresses that the Amazon produces more than 500,000 tons of cassava flour (about 40% of all national production) and 160,000 tons of fish annually. Using the residues from the flour mills, it would be possible to generate 6 GWh of electricity and, in the fish processing plants, another 13 GWh of electricity per year, which can be used to supply these businesses.

To the Escolhas manager, the results reinforce the need to consider the enormous potential of biogas in the Amazon: “there is an urgent need to create a Biogas Energy Generation Program to stimulate this production in landfills, as well as in the bioeconomy business.” Larissa adds that it is necessary to prioritize investments in renewable energy. “We can have clean and safe energy in the Amazon and stimulate job creation and income generation in many businesses.”


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Read more:

Study: “Biogas in the Amazon: energy for powering the bioeconomy”