Sugarcane biofuel becomes Brazil's 2nd energy source
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Having reached 16% of Brazil's total energy output in 2007, sugarcane biofuel has overtaken hydroelectric power as the country's second energy source, according to an annual official study released Thursday.
Biofuel and other derivatives from sugarcane have for the first time overtaken hydroelectric power as an energy source in Brazil, according to an annual official study released Thursday.
Ethanol and pulp from sugarcane in 2007 accounted for 16 percent of Brazil's total energy output, up from 14.5 percent the previous year, the National Energy Evaluation showed.
The contribution of electricity generated from hydro power stations remained stable at 14.7 percent.
Oil remains the primary source of energy in Brazil, representing 36 percent of output.
"The main reason for this increase in the energy use of sugarcane was ethanol, whose total demand (domestic consumption plus exports) was 20.1 billion liters," the report said.
The head of the state-run Energy Research Company, Mauricio Tommasquin, told a media conference: "2007 was a historic year and showed an irreversible trend."
He predicted that sugarcane would continue to be a more important energy source than hydroelectric power, even with new hydro plants the government is planning on building.
More than 80 percent of the cars on Brazil's roads are built to run on ethanol or petrol, or a combination of both.
The study also confirmed Brazil's self-sufficiency in oil production, noting that, per day, it put out 1.75 barrels and consumed 1.73 million barrels. The country exported 421,000 barrels in 2007 and imported 418,000 barrels.
Demand for energy grew 5.9 percent last year, amounting to 239.4 million equivalent tons of petrol.
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