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Forest biomass as a viable pathway for sustainable energy supply in isolated villages of Amazonia

Brandão P.C., Lopes de Souza A., Rousset P., Nogueira Bello Simas F., Furtado De Mendonça B.A.. 2021. Environmental Development : 12 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.envdev.2020.100609

In the present study, we evaluate the potential of biomass residues from sustainable forest management for electricity generation in an isolated village in the Amazon rainforest. We compared the following alternatives for electricity generation: thermoelectric diesel plant, biomass gasification and Rankine cycle system and found that biomass fuel systems (gasification and Rankine cycle) may yield up enough energy to meet the demand of the studied village. A comparative analysis of the different electricity generation technologies shows that gasification and Rankine cycle have an implementation cost 1.2 times higher than that estimated for the diesel thermoelectric power plant. However, the annual operational and maintenance cost of the biomass fuel system is about 50% lower than that estimated for the diesel plant. That means that in less than two years of operation and maintenance, the gasification or Rankine cycle plants pay off the implementation cost, when compared to the diesel plant. Besides ensuring the supply of electricity from a clean, renewable source, the biomass fuel systems reduce community's dependence on external sources of energy. This leads to greater autonomy and involvement of residents in the management of the generation system, creates more local jobs and income generation, contributing to the sustainable development of the local economy.

Mots-clés : production énergétique; biomasse; Énergie renouvelable; gazéification; déchet d'exploitation forestière; gestion forestière durable; forêt tropicale humide; source d'énergie; brésil; amazonas; cycle de rankine

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