Sunday, June 17, 2012

Climate change will reduce renewable energy capacity, warn scientists

Ochieng' Ogodo in  Climate change is set to reduce Latin America's capacity to produce renewable energy, according to Roberto Schaeffer, a Brazilian energy planning expert. He told the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development underway in Brazil this week (11–15 June) that many forms of renewable energy are vulnerable to variations in climate, due to their dependence on water – as is the case with hydropower and biofuels – as well as on wind and sun.

Schaeffer— a researcher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil — said that Brazil's biomass, hydroelectric and wind energy sectors are particularly vulnerable. Two years ago, Schaeffer participated in a Brazilian study entitled 'The Vulnerability of Energy Systems to Climate Change', conducted from 2008 to 2010. The study found that by 2040, Brazil's climate will display significantly greater variability than it does currently, with higher rainfall in some areas and prolonged periods of drought in others. 

This would have an adverse effect on renewable energy production, he said. He gave the example of overall electricity supply in northeast Brazil, which would be impacted by an increase in drought. And soya bean production, one of Brazil's primary sources of renewable energy, would be impeded by higher temperatures, Schaeffer said....

A beaker of biodiesel fuel from soy, shot by Leandro Maranghetti Lourenço, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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