Latin America Green News: Energy and deforestation in Brazil; wind and new park in Chile
Latin America Green News is a selection of weekly news highlights about environmental and energy issues in Latin America.
September 8th – 12th, 2014
The Chinese energy firm, Envision, will launch its first project in Chile, a 10 MW wind farm with an investment of $33 million. The firm will not only supply, install the equipment, and operate the unit, but will also sell its energy on the spot market. Envision also has plans to develop between 50 MW and 100 MW annually as part of its portfolio. (Diario Financiero, 9/11/14)
The Brazilian Association of Wind Energy (ABEeólica) reports that Brazil will invest the equivalent of $14.8 billion in wind energy projects between 2015 and 2018, representing an additional 7,227 MW of wind power. The organization expects that by 2020 there will be over 280,000 people working in the wind energy sector. According to ABEeólica, wind energy has already helped Brazil cut its CO2 emission by 6.5 million tons since 2005 and by 2017 could help cut 8.9 million tons. Meanwhile, the Brazilian Government has informed that production of oil and gas is projected to increase from 2 million barrels per day to 5 million by 2023. Most of the $550 billion new investment would occur over the next ten years in exploration and production. Brazil also projects it will nearly double its sugarcane ethanol production in the same period, increasing from 28 billion to 48 billion liters. Despite these projections, in the past decade, the state oil company has failed to meet production targets and investment in ethanol plants has dropped since 2009. (Radio Intereconomía 9/08/14; 9/11/2014)
Brazil confirmed that deforestation in its Amazon region increased by 29 percent last year. During the one year period ending in July 2013, some 5,900 hectares of rainforest were lost, an area equivalent to the size of Puerto Rico. The states of Para and Mato Grosso, were most of the agricultural expansion in Brazil is occurring, saw the greatest increases in deforestation during this period. Despite the spike in the deforestation rate, it was the second lowest rate registered since 2004. (Voz de América 9/11/2014)
Chile officially received a new national park this week, when the Minister of National Assets (Bienes Nacionales) signed a contract with Fundación Yendegaia solidifying the foundation’s donation of 38 thousand hectares of land – worth about $3.5 million – in southern Patagonia’s Tierra del Fuego. The foundation, which is an organism of noted environmentalist and businessman Doug Tompkins, has been working with the government for years to create the Yendegaia National Park, and added their land to the more than 111,832 hectares of public land that the government has dedicated for the same purpose. The area has been identified as one of the most pristine wild areas left in the world, with one of the southernmost intact forest ecosystems in the world, plus tundra, glaciers and unique freshwater ecosystems. (El Dinamo 9/9/2014)
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