Bioelectricity, generated from sugarcane biomass, is becoming an important activity in Brazil. Throughout the country, 432 mills utilize cogeneration to supply their own energy needs, and are self-sufficient for electricity. However, advances must be made. Of the total mills, only 129 produce more electricity than they use and sell the remainder to the national electrical grid. According to ETH president, Carlos Grubisich, a robust and economically feasible project to increase cogeneration is essential. “We will not see new mills built that do not generate energy,” he predicts.
Sugarcane bioelectricity has contributed to the reduction of gas emissions which affect the ozone layer. Besides the environmental advantages, it is also a complementary energy source to the hydroelectric system. During the opening ceremonies of the Ethanol Summit 2011, Geraldo Alckmin, the governor of the state of São Paulo (largest producing region in Brazil), signed a Cooperation Protocol creating the first green energy certificate in the state. According to specialists, the measure is fundamental for this type of energy generation to increase and reach its immense potential. The Protocol created a “Green Stamp” which will identify producers and users of electrical energy generated from sugarcane bagasse and the leaves of the sugarcane stalk – clean, renewable energy. “It is a very important step, which will show the consumer that when they acquire electrical energy directly from a mill, they will be purchasing a product made from sugarcane, a plant which during its entire productive cycle helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” stated UNICA president Marcos Jank.
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