Sea in sight: offshore wind farms land in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, June, 21st, 2022 – Wind generation at sea is one of the new bets of the energy sector in several countries, and, with great national maritime potential, Brazil sees the possibility of expanding the borders of this energy source. Although still unexplored in the country, the first step towards pioneering this new technology has already been taken. Decree nº 10.946/2022, published in January of this year and which comes into force from June onwards, presents the initial guidelines for the assignment of water use and the use of natural resources for offshore electricity generation.

Offshore wind production is extremely promising in the country with a generation potential of around 700 GW, in places up to 50 meters deep, according to studies carried out by the Energy Research Company (EPE).

In addition to the high potential and attested quality of the wind resource, the development of its generation in an offshore environment is an important opportunity to further diversify the Brazilian energy mix. Technology becomes a strong candidate for expanding the share of renewable sources in a competitive manner in the national matrix, ensuring a sustainable future. In addition to contributing to the energy transition, the development of offshore wind projects will further foster the port segment and cooperate with the transition of the main players in the oil and gas industry to the renewable sector, bringing even more competitiveness.

At sea, wind generation takes on a completely different dimension in terms of volume and area, financial investment, project design and development duration, logistics, implementation and operation, in addition to the challenges in geographic, social and environmental terms. EDF Renewables believes that for new technology to gain scale, it is crucial:

Respect for the context and local particularities
Understanding and recognizing regional challenges is essential to develop adequate, consistent and respectful projects for human activity and life. Therefore, far beyond mere compliance with regulations, we carry out in-depth consultations in the field, with interaction with the general population and all interested parties, promoting a constructive dialogue.

We value the harmony of the different local activities thanks to these discussions with the stakeholders and, in particular, with those who use the sea in their daily lives, whether for economic and locomotion activities – such as fishing, transport, tourism, etc. for carrying out technical and socioeconomic studies.

Environment protection
Each project is based on a thorough appreciation of environmental issues and has improved and updated studies throughout the entire life cycle of its execution. Measures to mitigate the socio-environmental impacts of offshore wind farms will be implemented from the construction stage to the operational stage, which will have environmental monitoring programs.

A global environmental assessment is always carried out by specialists, with interface with local organizations, such as fisheries committees and research laboratories. The main focus is on the preservation of the physical, biotic and socio-economic environments, which include important groups such as marine mammals, birds, turtles and bats, in addition to water quality, corals, permanent preservation and environmental protection areas, fishing resources and other activities economic.

Create economic opportunities
We work so that offshore wind projects are a vector of economic and social development both in the local and regional context. During the development phase, we help to put into practice training courses adapted to our business lines and those of our subcontractors, guaranteeing long-term qualified jobs, in addition to social projects to be implemented in the communities surrounding the project.

During the construction phase, we create lines of business that effectively address the needs of the project. The construction phase of wind farms in France (Saint-Nazaire, Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-Mer), for example, generated 7,000 jobs.

In Brazil, offshore wind energy is still in the early stages, but the country has the capacity to become the pioneer in the segment in Latin America. EDF Renewables do Brasil is already prepared and on the way to respond to this challenge thanks to its double strength: its expertise in offshore deployment in the world and its solid presence in the renewable sector in Brazil, where it has been operating since 2015 and with more than 1.7 GW in viable projects.

Sylvain Jouhanneau is Emerging Business Manager at EDF Renewables Brasil