What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy – (Reuters) – Brazil produced about 93% of its electricity from clean sources in the first nine months of 2023, up more than 2 percentage points from the same period in 2022, and the largest share of clean energy among major economies has been

France has historically boasted the cleanest energy sector among the top economies, but it has lost ground to Brazil over the past year due to a decline in nuclear power generation in France and a sharp increase in solar and wind generation in Brazil, data from think tank Ember shows. .

What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy

What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy

Growth in green energy capacity in 2023 will extend Brazil’s lead, showing that both clean and total energy production can be increased despite economic headwinds in the form of rising interest rates, volatile consumer demand and strained supply chains.

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Brazil’s massive hydroelectric installations have been the backbone of its energy system for decades, and in 2023, hydroelectricity will account for about 68% of its total electricity generation.

But the main source of renewable energy growth was the solar sector, which increased electricity generation by more than 75% in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Brazil’s total solar photovoltaic capacity has exceeded 30 gigawatts (GW) this year, thanks to 4.4 GW of new capacity commissioned since January, according to the National Electricity Agency (Aneel).

According to Ember, solar energy will account for 6.8% of Brazil’s electricity generation in 2023, up from 4.2% in 2022.

Renewable Energy Definition

Along with more output from wind farms, which increased production by about 18% through September compared to the same period in 2022, higher solar output allowed Brazil’s power producers to increase total electricity production by 4% in 2023.

The nearly 483 terawatt hours of electricity produced during September is a record and represents a more than 17.5% increase in Brazil’s total electricity production during this period from 2018.

Higher home electricity supply has helped meet rising energy demand from homes and businesses not only in Brazil, but also in Argentina due to Brazil’s ability to export electricity.

What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy

Brazil’s continued expansion of clean energy generation capacity also supports regional efforts to increase green energy supply, as Brazilian renewable energy generation firms share labor and expertise throughout Latin America to build regional market share.

Types Of Alternative Energy Resources

On the global stage, Brazil’s ability to increase both clean and total electricity generation contrasts with major energy systems in Europe, where total energy production is declining due to fossil fuel supply, emissions curbs, and reduced output from aging generation infrastructure.

The share of clean energy flowing through Europe’s grids reached new highs this year, thanks to the rapid expansion of wind and solar capacity in most countries.

But overall electricity production in major European economies such as Germany remains well below peaks seen in 2018-19 as power generators face shortages of key energy fuels such as natural gas following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

In turn, curbing energy production pushed energy costs above long-term averages, which limited consumption from energy-intensive industries and dampened overall economic growth.

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Europe’s energy producers have also suffered from sharply rising interest rates, which have reduced consumer purchasing power and raised the cost of energy infrastructure projects.

But Brazil’s businesses and consumers have also weathered a sharp rise in overall interest rates in recent years and have nevertheless managed to record steady energy capacity growth.

In addition, Brazil’s import costs for key renewable energy components such as solar panels and wind turbines are often higher than in European markets, where manufacturers in Asia benefit from shorter supply chains and greater pricing power due to the number of large economies. region.

What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy

The fact that Brazil’s energy sector has managed to overcome these challenges to create a world-leading clean energy sector may provide clues to its counterparts in other regions on how to maintain growth rates.

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Brazil’s new position as the cleanest major energy sector may also help challenge assumptions that clean energy experience is concentrated in richer economies and broaden the perspective of energy sector developers trying to plan for energy system expansion in the coming years. All energy sources have negative impacts. But they differ greatly in size: as we shall see, fossil fuels are the dirtiest and most dangerous, while nuclear and modern renewables are safer and cleaner. From both a human health and climate change perspective, it makes less sense that we switch to nuclear power or renewable energy, and more that we stop relying on fossil fuels.

Energy has played a critical role in the human progress we have seen over the past few centuries. As the United Nations rightly says: “Energy is central to almost every major challenge and opportunity facing the world today.”

Although energy brings us great benefits, it is not without disadvantages. Energy production can have negative effects on human health and the environment in three ways.

The first is air pollution: millions of people die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution. The burning of fossil fuels and biomass—wood, dung, and coal—is responsible for most of these deaths.

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The second is accidents. This includes accidents occurring during the production and extraction of fuels – coal, uranium, rare metals, oil and gas. It also includes accidents that occur during the transportation of raw materials and infrastructure, during the construction or repair of a power plant.

The third is greenhouse gas emissions: fossil fuels are the main source of greenhouse gases, the main driver of climate change. 91% of global CO in 2020

No energy source is completely safe. All of them have short-term effects on human health either through air pollution or accidents. And they all have long-term effects by contributing to climate change.

What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy

But their contribution to each is very different. Fossil fuels are both the dirtiest and most dangerous in the short term, and emit the most greenhouse gases per unit of energy. This means that there are thankfully no compromises here: low-carbon energy sources are also the safest. From both human health and climate change perspectives, it matters less whether we go nuclear or not

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Before considering the long-term effects of climate change, let’s look at how each source stacks up in terms of short-term health risks.

Deaths from every source: fossil fuels still dominate our global electricity mix, so we would expect them to kill more people.

. This is measured in terawatt-hours. One terawatt-hour is roughly equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 150,000 citizens of the European Union.2

Let’s see this comparison in the graph. Fossil fuels and biomass kill more people per unit of electricity than nuclear and modern renewables. Coal is by far the dirtiest.

Environmental Impact Of Electricity Generation

However, for fossil fuels these estimates will be very conservative. They rely on power plants in Europe that have good pollution controls and are based on older models of the health effects of air pollution. As I discuss in more detail at the end of this article,

Death rates from fossil fuels are likely to be even higher, based on the latest research on air pollution.

Two accidents strongly influence our perception of nuclear safety: Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986 and Fukushima in Japan in 2011. These were tragic events. However, compared to the millions of people who die from fossil fuels

What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy

The final death toll was very low. To calculate the death rates used here, I assume 433 people died from Chernobyl and 2,314 from Fukushima.4 If you’re interested, I go into detail about how many people died in each accident in the corresponding article.

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Another resource affected by several large-scale accidents is hydropower. Its fatality rate since 1965 is 1.3 deaths per TWh. This ratio is almost entirely dominated by one event: the 1975 collapse of the Banqiao Dam in China. It killed an estimated 171,000 people. Otherwise, hydropower was very safe, with a fatality rate of only 0.04 deaths per TWh – comparable to nuclear, solar and wind.

Finally, there is the sun and the wind. Mortality rates from both of these sources are low, but not zero. Few people die in supply chain accidents – such as helicopter collisions with turbines, fires during installation of turbines or panels, and drownings at offshore wind farms.

People often focus on the marginal differences at the bottom of the table – between nuclear, solar and wind. This comparison is incorrect: the uncertainties around these values ​​mean that they are likely to overlap.

Nuclear power is 99.9% less fatal than brown coal, for example; 99.8% less than coal; 99.7% less than oil; and 97.6% less than gas. Wind and solar are equally safe.

Brazil Set To Widen Lead As Cleanest Major Power Sector

Let’s consider that each source consumes one terawatt-hour of electricity per year for an average city of 150,000 people in the European Union – as I said before. Let’s call this city “Euroville”.

Every year, 25 people die prematurely. Many of these people will die from air pollution.

The good news is that there is no compromise between the safest

What Is The Cleanest Form Of Energy

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