For Neoenergia, the fight against climate change is a driver of its business, strengthening its commitment to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In line with the global policy of Iberdrola, its parent company, Neoenergia has the goal of neutralizing carbon emissions by 2050. One of the strategies is the massive investment in wind energy, a clean and renewable source that does not emit carbon dioxide in its operation. On this June 15, when Global Wind Day is celebrated, the company reinforces this position. By 2022, the Chafariz (PB) and Oitis (PI and BA) wind complexes will be completed, with their installed capacity tripled, reaching 1.6 GW.
The construction of wind farms has several advantages in both the environmental and social spheres, especially for the Northeast, where most of the projects in Brazil are located. Only in the installation works of the Chafariz complex, more than 800 jobs were created, most of them for the population of the region of the municipalities of Santa Luzia and São José do Sabugi, in the countryside of the state of Paraíba. To ensure the employment of local labor force, Neoenergia offers training courses and integrates the community in the realization of the project. In addition, since the area where the wind turbines are installed is leased, the residents still guarantee income from energy generation.
"Wind energy has a very important social role. These are often forgotten regions and, when the project arrives, it brings development and information. At this time of a pandemic, for example, the company contributes to sanitary conditions in the region, brings information and protocols to fight the disease which that municipality might not have if it were not for the installation of the parks," says Leandro Montanher, Superintendent of Renewable Projects.
At a time when job generation is required, each MW of installed wind energy capacity creates an average of 15 jobs, according to data from the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica).
"An opportunity for the recovery of the post-pandemic economy is the bet on the green agenda, and wind energy in this sense is a driving force of recovery, generating employment and income, with high impact for local and national development," says Thaisa Almeida, Neoenergia's Superintendent of Renewable Business Development.
Also according to ABEEólica, for each MW, the emission of 22.9 million tons of carbon dioxide is avoided, equivalent to the emission of approximately 16 million cars. Today, Neoenergia has an installed wind energy generation capacity of 515.8 MW, in 17 wind farms in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba. The Chafariz complex, with 12 parks, will add 471.2 MW and Oitis, with 15, will add 566.5 MW to this capacity.
Iberdrola's forecast is to allocate 34 billion euros by 2022 for the decarbonization and electrification of the economy, for projects in all countries where the group operates, including Brazil. By doing so, it will contribute to the goals of gradually reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from its projects, reaching 110 grams of CO2 per kWh in 2030. By 2050, emissions should be neutralized. In pursuit of this goal, investments in renewable energies, which are a priority for Neoenergia, are essential.
Renewable sources - hydroelectric and wind - now account for 86.8% of energy generation in Neoenergia. In 2022, this figure should reach 90%, exceeding the Brazilian profile. "Wind energy would not be so sustainable by itself. The more diversified the energy matrix, the more important for the sector, ensuring confidence. In this sense, photovoltaic solar energy will play an important role. And, therefore, we are also developing projects of this technology," says Thaisa Almeida.
The date was created by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) to reinforce the importance of investments in wind energy, of which Iberdrola Renewables is a member. The GWEC forecast in the Global Wind Report 2019 is for an average annual growth of 71 GW in installed capacity worldwide by 2024. Brazil currently has 15.6 GW of installed capacity and, for ABEEólica, this number should reach 22.5 GW, considering auctions already held in the regulated environment and contracts signed in the free market.
The forecast of the Ten-year Energy Expansion Plan (PDE 2029), produced by the Energy Research Company (EPE), is that the participation of wind energy in the total installed capacity of the centralized generation in Brazil will jump from 15% in 2019 to 39.5% in 2029. Neoenergia's investments to expand its wind farms place it in a leading position in this scenario.