By Tracy Burton Bravo
Brazil is one of the Ibero-American countries that emits the least CO2 per unit of energy used. Towards the end of 2014, 80% of its installed energy capacity came from clean sources. Its size and natural resources make it the main renewable market in Latin America, and the second in the world, according to Global Climatescope. Since 2011 it has suffered from drought problems due to an excessive dependence on hydraulic energy, but the new electricity regulation could change the situation.
Brazilians can, from March 1, install small electric generators in their homes, such as photovoltaic panels or micro wind turbines, among other renewable sources, to reduce their monthly electricity bill. In addition, this regulation also allows the energy produced to be shared in cooperatives or neighborhood associations.
Despite the policies carried out by the country, the state of Amazonas continues to have supply problems. In this region, more than two million people do not have access to quality electricity. The large amount of nature prevents the creation of stable distribution networks that can supply sufficient light to the villages 24 hours a day. Of the 286 existing communities, some 153 have small generators that operate for a few hours a day. The remaining 133 still live in the dark.
The Mamirauá Institute has spent 20 years implementing technologies aimed at improving well-being in these isolated communities, made up mostly of fishermen and peasants. The organization is in the development phase of a project that will allow communities to obtain energy through solar panels.
Framed within this project, is the use of the sun to make ice with which to preserve food. These are machines that work with solar energy and do not require the use of batteries. They can process about 30 kilos a day and are already implanted in two communities.
"The Mamirauá Institute's solar ice machine is a perfect demonstration of how technology, combined with the will to change the world, can completely transform people's lives," said Fábio Coelho, President of Google Brazil, one of the companies that finance the organization.