Abstract: Brazil’s status as a rapidly developing country is visible in its need for more energy, including electricity. While the current electricity generation mix is primarily hydropower based, high-quality dam sites are diminishing and diversification to other sources is likely. We combined life-cycle data for electricity production with scenarios developed using the IAEA’s MESSAGE model to examine environmental impacts of future electricity generation under a baseline case and four side cases, using a Monte-Carlo approach to incorporate uncertainty in power plant performance and LCA impacts. Our results show that, under the cost-optimal base case scenario, Brazil’s GHGs from electricity (excluding hydroelectric reservoir emissions) rise 370% by 2040 relative to 2010, with the carbon intensity per MWh rising 100%. This rise would make Brazil’s carbon emissions targets difficult to meet without demand-side programs. Our results show a future electricity mix dominated by environmental tradeoffs in the use of large-scale renewables, questioning the use tropical hydropower and highlighting the need for additional work to assess and include ecosystem and social impacts, where information is currently sparse.
Keywords: life-cycle assessment (LCA); scenarios; Brazil; energy; climate change; Monte-Carlo analysis (MCA)
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Dale, A.T.; Pereira de Lucena, A.F.; Marriott, J.; Borba, B.S.M.C.; Schaeffer, R.; Bilec, M.M. Modeling Future Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Supplies in Brazil. Energies 2013, 6, 3182-3208.
Dale AT, Pereira de Lucena AF, Marriott J, Borba BSMC, Schaeffer R, Bilec MM. Modeling Future Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Supplies in Brazil. Energies. 2013; 6(7):3182-3208.
Dale, Alexander T.; Pereira de Lucena, André F.; Marriott, Joe; Borba, Bruno S.M.C.; Schaeffer, Roberto; Bilec, Melissa M. 2013. "Modeling Future Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Supplies in Brazil." Energies 6, no. 7: 3182-3208.