Sustainability of Solar Panels in Brazil
The concept of using renewable and environmentally friendly energy in developing countries is not new. This concept continues to emerge as a possible alternative to the use of fossil fuel energy and other deleterious sources of energy. Renewable energy products are being created as a way of meeting the unprecedented expectations in terms of energy needs. However, none of these developments is applicable to sustainability and environmental protection in Brazil as is solar power. The objective of the energy sector in Brazil is to harness the power of solar energy by increasing its output efficiency and its capability that is to be used in every solation within the country (Goldemberg 35).
This paper aims at assessing the extent to which the implementation of new solar panels can be a solution towards an efficient and sustainable environment in the long term with focus on Brazil.
Efficiency of implementing new solar panels in the Brazilian energy sector
Brazil is one of the developing countries that are experiencing exponential economic development. This explains why being the largest country in South America, it has also grown to become an economic and political leader in South America (Meier et al, 23). In terms of international trade, Brazil is the eighth largest economy in the world and the constant economic activities and initiatives have made it a dominant power on the international platform. On matters related to energy potential, Brazil has one of the greatest advantages. For instance, different climatic zones, such as the dry sunny climate provide an opportunity for the development of solar power. The changes in the environment, which have been characterized by climate change have necessitated the development and approval of policies to mitigate greenhouse gases emissions (Meier et al, 23).
In 2009, the Brazilian government enacted the National Policy on Climate Change and created a voluntary emission reduction target that would ensure that the industrial activities reduced emissions by 38% as at 2020 (Weiler 80). About half of these reductions are expected to emanate from an improvement in the country’s energy efficiency in construction, farming, and the industrial process. In addition, the country could also realize this reduction by seeking the services of alternative, renewable, and environmentally friendly energy sources (Visa 30).
The use of solar energy in Brazil
Hydro power plants provide about 85% of the total electricity that is generated in Brazil. When hydropower is excluded, about 2% of the total electricity that is generated emanates from renewable energy sources, such as wind power, and solar energy. This is an indication that the country has vast renewable energy sources that are yet to be exploited (Meier et al. 27).
Solar energy has been considered by the energy sector in Brazil as one of the untapped areas in renewable energy. The country has been able to implement different aspects related to solar energy. For instance, photovoltaic has been installed in the capacity of 12-15M2p. About 50% of this energy is supplied to the telecommunication systems and the rest of the energy is used for rural installations (Goldemberg 38).
Sustainability of solar energy in Brazil
In the remote and rural areas in Brazil, most of the members of the population derive energy from environmentally harmful practices. This has been associated with the unavailability of renewable and cleans energy sources. The traditional methods of energy production, such as fuel would continue to degrade the system (Goldemberg 44). Inappropriate use of land has made it relatively unproductive and the world is threatened with the burden of global sustainability on the production of energy and the protection of the environment. One way by which the Brazilian government and other stakeholders have encouraged sustainability is through the introduction of an increasing number of programs aimed at the expanding the use of renewable sources of energy, such as the solar panels (Visa 40). This has been considered an important initiative because it can improve the quality of life while at the same time promoting sustainable development. The process of implementing subsystems, such as solar power in Brazil can be a success due to its practicality, reliability, and cost effectiveness, and is healthier to the people and the environment (Visa 42).
One of the factors that must be considered in the process of expending the implementation of solar panels in Brazil is the level of competition and the possibility of lowering the price of energy production. Brazil is an oil importing country (Weiler 70). This means that with the oil deposits diminishing, there is a need for the country to address the need for cleaner and renewable fuel sources that can replace fossil fuel energy. The implementation of solar energy must also be in relation to its ability to supply the power needed for housing and in the transport sector. In addition, the competition that technological development has introduced in the development of solar panels will have an essential move towards putting solar energy on the energy map (Goldemberg 50). In Brazil, the development and adequate installation of solar energy will save money; it will create about four times more employment opportunities per unit of electricity produced compared to nuclear power plants. In addition, it will eliminate to high reliance on oil imports. The impact of this approach would also include a reduction in environmental pollution and degradation per unit of energy consumed (Visa 40).
An additional way through which the Brazilian government can encourage the installation and the use of solar energy in different sectors of the country such as transport, housing, and other less energy intensive sectors is through incentives that will strengthen the solar power market. The government can create budgets for solar power due to the environmental and economic benefits therein (Hansen and Wethal 27). The benefits include a reduction in the emission of carbon IV oxide and the creation of more employment opportunities in the high technology market. High government subsidies by the Brazilian government have caused and will continue to cause an evolution of the industry structure within the country. In addition, it will be important for the government of Brazil to initiate an awareness program that seeks to provide the necessary information to the members of the public concerning the role of a panel in the boosting energy production and facilitating environmental conservation (Visa 55). Furthermore, through the introduction of solar technology, it will be easier for the rural communities to access an alternative source of energy that is not only efficient but also effective in terms of environmental protection. The sunny climate will also provide these communities with frequent supply of electric energy (Visa 57).
Other than the small scale funding and subsidies of the solar power equipment, the government and other stakeholders within the industry can also ensure the implementation of the systems on a large-scale. More government incentives will make solar energy economical, especially in on-grid market. This will lower the price of energy because of the high volume involved in the manufacturing sector (Visa 45). The driving force for the connection of solar energy to the electric grid includes the need by the country’s citizens, who are the consumers of the energy, for a green energy. In addition, higher electricity rates, especially from those generated by fossil fuel energy encouraged the need for an alternative and renewable source of energy. Solar energy in Brazil has been considered as a more reliable end environmentally friendly source of energy because of the consistency of the sun energy within the country (Visa 48). Hydroelectric power can be instrumental in the production of large-scale amount for energy. However, a reduction in the water levels due to shirking rivers and tributaries has made it less reliable. The Brazilian population may highly depend on hydroelectric power. However, it would be important for the government to embrace solar power as a relatively cheap and efficient source of energy within the country (Weiler 80).
The cost effective nature of this solar power is based on the understanding that the government only needs to put much of its focus on the development of machinery with cells that can convert the lowest amount of sunlight into electric energy. This is cost effective since much of the resources will be spent on innovations (Kalogirou 108). As a renewable source of energy, solar power guarantees constant supply of power without the possibility of additional cost, such as increase in the prices of raw materials as in the case of fossil fuel energy. Training of more citizens on the benefits of solar energy in environmental sustainability and the provision of clean energy will provide an opportunity of innovation among the young and creative mends in Brazil who have the objective of fulfilling improving on the country’s capacity to embrace green energy (Visa 55).
The efficiency and sustainability of solar energy is that it can heat buildings through the passive and active heating systems. In Brazil, it is possible to embrace both ways in the development and installation of solar energy (Kalogirou 109). Passive solar design has the ability of capturing sunlight in structure such as rooms and converts it to low temperature heat that can be used as space heating. The most essential aspect of the passive design is in its ability to capture energy from the sun in a cheap and efficient manner (Kalogirou 110). This is through the design of the structure and the materials used in the construction of the building. In developing countries such as Brazil, there is no need for a backup heating system with the gains in passive solar deigns. This is because materials that are often used in this design include concrete walls, bricks, timber, and floors. During the day these materials can be used in the collection of health which the release slowly throughout the day and night (Visa 47).
Passive solar designs is an optimal source of energy for any household because once they have been built, the material will perform all the work. It allows for cooler summers and warmer winters, which is a cost effective approach of satisfying the needs of different members of the population (Visa 50). The building of solar design houses even prior to the decision to attach a solar panel, the most can be gained from the sunlight. This is one way through which the Brazilian population through its government can ensure the greatest efficiency and the cheapest alternative (Kalogirou 110). In addition, houses built using the passive design contribute to sustainability through different developmental approaches that meet the needs of the present Brazilian population without compromising the ability of the future generations satisfy their needs for energy. When contemplating the best solar power approach for developing countries such as Brazil that experiences a wide economic gap between the rich and the poor, then this would be the best alternatives as it permanently allows the rural and relatively poor families to maintain maximum comfort for the least expenditure (Hansen & Wethal 30).
The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 developed a resolution to strengthen partnerships between different stakeholders that would ensure environmental protection and poverty eradication in different countries. This was based on the belief that there was need to ensure equal distribution and the protection of the benefits of globalization (Kalogirou 111). The Solar Energy International (SEI) incorporates different development organizations and governments on developing countries such as Brazil to ensure adequate utilization of renewable energy for environmental and economic sustainability (Hansen and Wethal 30). One way through which this organization has ensured that Brazil can engage in sustainable use of solar energy is through the education a d training of the people involved with these technologies. These initiatives have been aimed at improving of the skills and abilities of the experts of solar energy within Brazil. In addition, the organizations also plans to engineer sustainable solar panel strategies and initiate programs that will ensure that will serve the purpose of laying the standard foundation of excellence in the field of solar energy (Weiler 88).
The decision to promote solar energy, the environment, and the improvement of basic living standards of the population is the major attraction for the Brazilian government and the international community funding of solar energy. An increasing use in the use of solar power an increase in the amount for sustainable and locally based enterprise can help in the provision of solar PV systems. Increasingly these systems are being used in the realization of programs, which help in the development of education, water supply, and healthcare in the rural areas of Brazil. Economically, the installation cost of solar systems is relatively high. Other than government subsidies, the private banking sector such as microfinances has been able to provide loans as a way of assisting in the affordability of the equipment (Hansen and Wethal 33).
Solar power is becoming a more competitive field considering its ability to serve and maintain the lives of families of the people in developing countries. It is possible to tap solar energy through the active use of the solar panels or passively by engaging in green building designs (Hansen and Wethal 23). Through engineering, it is possible for this technology to be applied in the manufacturing industry. This will be a technique aimed at reducing reliance on fossil fuel and other environmentally destructive sources of energy. The decision by the Brazilian government to implement alternative and renewable sources of energy is based on the understanding that through this approach to the use of energy, it will be easier to guarantee sustainability for the current and the future generation.
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