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What's a renewable source?

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Consultant energy affairs, Self employed

Rafael Herzberg- is an independent energy consultant, self-employed (since 2018) based in São Paulo, Brazil* Focus on C level, VPs and upper managers associated to energy related info, analysis...

  • Member since 2003
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  • Nov 23, 2021

What's a renewable source?

The question seems obvious and even impertinent!

I realized that in our (Brazilian) collective imagination, a renewable source of excellence is the solar on the roof. And of course it is!

There is even the perception that solar and wind are "the" renewable sources. Hydroelectric power does not fall into this category, and again, I refer to the established common sense.

Our matrix is 70% hydraulic, which is intrinsically renewable!

When there is no sun during the day and at night, the country's matrix serves as the back up for the household that has solar energy on its roof. And when this happens, the sources that "help" includes hydraulic, wind, and thermal.

In other words, renewable such as solar also have their component of emissions as they depend on the country's matrix.

Leo St. Hilaire's picture
Leo St. Hilaire on Nov 24, 2021

Rafael, Why does Brazil not recognize Hydroelectric power as renewable? It many countries Hydroelectric power is recognized as such.

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Nov 24, 2021

Hi Leo, that's precisely "the" question!

Here in Brazil, "renewable" is considered by most of the people as PV solar and wind. I don't  understand why hydro is not considered! 

In the same token, I don't see the need to buy renewable certificates for power purchased in Brasil since 70% is hydro, 10% wind and 5% solar. The difference is thermal. 

My best guess is: the guys who sell rooftop solar for example claim that their solution is "actually renewable". Funny that this is widely accepted!

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Thank Rafael for the Post!
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