Brazilian energy matrix becomes a global case at COP26

Representatives from the Brazilian Federal Government presented data on renewable energy. Indicators need to further advance for the country to achieve net zero carbon goals

With a continent-sized territory, immense natural wealth, and favorable conditions in terms of climate and soil fertility, Brazil exceeds the total energy demand estimated for the next 30 years. However, there are ongoing challenges to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 – a goal agreed to in the Paris Agreement and reinforced in discussions taking place at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), taking place in the Scottish city of Glasgow. The idea is to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

Brazilian government policies regarding energy were presented this Thursday (4th) by representatives of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME). Minister Bento Albuquerque led the “Green Growth” roundtable, pointing out actions in progress and future perspectives for public policies. Among the measures presented by the minister are the “Fuel of the Future” and the “Hydrogen” programs.

The first of these aims to expand the use of sustainable, low-carbon fuels. Specific goals of the program include:

  • reducing the average carbon intensity of the fuel matrix
  • reducing emissions from all modes of transportation and
  • increasing energy efficiency

Meanwhile, the National Hydrogen Program presents the construction of the Brazilian strategy for the development of hydrogen, considered a vector that enables energy storage and particularly favors sectors such as industry and transportation which, together, consume two thirds of Brazil’s energy.

“The future of this sector is based on the public policies that we are going to implement.

Brazil is already considered a world reference and we will be protagonists as a result of the renewable energies in our energy matrix. In any case, the world’s energy transition has to go through a collective effort, based fundamentally on cooperation,” said Bento Albuquerque.


According to the MME’s National Energy Plan (PNE 2050), the expansions in energy supply and consumption will be made in a sustainable way in the near future, with the maintenance of renewable indicators: between 45 and 50% in the energy matrix, and between 80 and 85% in the electric generation matrix.

The Minister of Mines and Energy also cited the diversity of this Brazilian renewable matrix, which overcame “the greatest water shortage the country has ever had,” which began in October 2020.

“We have managed to overcome this phase of shortages while maintaining our country’s energy security. And the wind and solar energy sources were fundamental in this process,” he exemplified. Currently, the two sources represent 13.43% of the total energy matrix in the country. According to Bento Albuquerque, the estimate is that they will reach 25% of this participation by 2030.

Linked to the MME, the Energy Research Company (EPE) subsidizes the Federal Government in planning the sector, by means of studies and research. According to the institution’s president, Thiago Barral, Brazil has an outstanding global position when it comes to renewable energy. However, sustainable development goals, which include carbon neutrality, require a task force to be achieved.

“We can’t settle at this level. Access to energy services will grow in Brazil to sustain development. And it is not possible to achieve neutrality only with renewable energy and biofuel. Other technologies are needed and they will be achieved, also, by implementing policies in this direction.” The technician exposed data worked out by EPE at the table “Brazil: The clean energy country!”, also on Thursday (4), at COP26.


One of the parameters used by the EPE to measure Brazil’s competitive advantage is CO2 emissions per capita. The emission of a Brazilian citizen, according to Barral, is equivalent to 1/7 of that generated by an American and 1/3 of the emission of an European.

“No matter the emissions profile related to the energy sector in Brazil, the level is lower than other economies with which we can compare. It is an exceptional condition of renewable sources,” he said. Still, the country continues in the energy transition process, reinforced the president of the EPE.

To this end, Brazil has been consolidating a portfolio of energy supply, with the objective of bringing energy security with renewable sources. “We will see an increasing role for wind and solar energy, for example. So we will invest in transmission systems to deliver these resources distributed over a continental setting. We need to take advantage of these resources and their complementarity”, he highlighted.

According to Minister Bento Albuquerque, the potential of offshore wind energy alone reaches 700 gigawatts on the Brazilian coast, which represents four times the total energy capacity already installed in the country.


In the panel “Brazil: the country where energy efficiency is already a reality in the electric sector”, which took place during COP26, representatives of the Brazilian government also reinforced the importance of this efficiency for sustainable development.

The director of the MME’s Department of Energy Development, Carlos Alexandre Príncipe Pires, addressed the need to consider Brazil’s cultural issue when designing efficiency policies.

“There is a cultural issue that sees that efficiency gains are not as important and what matters is increasing the size of the business”, he explained.

To face this structural issue, the manager develops projects that reach out to small and medium companies, bringing information and financing possibilities. The energy efficiency of public buildings is also the target of MME’s energy efficiency policies.

The director of the MME’s Economic Studies Department, Giovani Vitória Machado, also reinforced that energy efficiency plays a relevant role not only in economic gains, but also in decarbonization.

“That’s less energy and material resources, bringing financial and economic gains for businesses and households, for those who have implemented energy efficiency. The greater the competition, the more important energy efficiency will be to have a competitive standard as a market differential. And knowing your load curve not only generates value for the business, but also has a positive impact on the more macro indicators of energy efficiency,” he concluded.

Brazil’s electricity generation matrix
  • Renewable energy (82.76%)
  • Hydric (60.71%) Oil and others (5.11%)
  • Wind (10.95%) Natural gas (9.04%)
  • Biomass (8.63%) Coal (1.99%)
  • Solar (2,48%) Nuclear (1,10%)
  • Single-electric source (0.00003%)


  • Non-renewable energy (17.24%)
  • Oil and others (5.11%)
  • Natural gas (9.04%)
  • Coal (1.99%)
  • Nuclear (1.10%)


Source: The Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL)