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Brazil Makes the Case That It Can Expand Ethanol and Keep Its Forests

Sugarcane plantation in Brazil The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is going to present on November 17, in São Paulo, in the Brazilian southeast, an agricultural zoning plan that is currently being prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil.

The study should be disclosed at the opening of the international conference on biofuels "International Conference on Biofuels: Biofuels as a driving force of sustainable development", to take place from the November 17 to 21.

"The study is going to show the areas for expansion of agriculture in the country, without including the Amazon, the Pantanal (wetlands in the west of the country), native Indian areas, forests, cities, etc.," said, in an interview to foreign correspondents, ambassador André Amado, undersecretary general for Energy and Top-End Technology at the Itamaraty, who is responsible for the event.

According to him, the research is effectively going to reveal the areas to be used by several crops, including sugarcane for production of ethanol, without this implying in deforestation. The study shows land that is currently underused. "It will be a great advance in this area, as details are lacking," he said.

According to figures disclosed by the ministry, the country has 65 million hectares available for the expansion of sugarcane, being 37 million now in grazing land. In early October, the minister of Agriculture of Brazil, Reinhold Stephanes, said that the cultivation of sugarcane should expand into these grazing grounds, which are well distributed throughout Brazil.

Stephanes added that over the next eight years, Brazil should need from four to five million hectares to double production of sugarcane. He also said that zoning is a system to generate compatibility between food and biofuel production and respect to the environment.

From time to time, production of biofuels is the target of criticism of other countries due to the fear that it may occupy areas turned to food and may also boost deforestation. For over a year now the government of Brazil has been working on showing that this is not the case in Brazil. The conference this month was announced by president Lula at the UN General Assembly in 2007.

According to André Amado, the target of the conference is to objectively discuss the potential of biofuels. In Brazil, ethanol has been broadly used in vehicles for over 30 years and the country dominates the whole chain of production and use of the product.

The ambassador pointed out that it is possible to prove on black and white that biofuels are currently the cleanest and cheapest forms for generation of electric energy.

"We do not plan to convince people to import ethanol from Brazil, but to export the idea that biofuels are currently the cleanest source of energy in the world," he said. "Also due to the fact that domestic demand in Brazil should reduce the possibility of exports," he explained.

The ambassador added that the sector productive chain may represent a development alternative for poor nations, especially in Africa. "There are African countries whose annual consumption of energy is similar to that of Iguatemi Shopping center," he said, referring to a traditional shopping mall in São Paulo. "Imagine the importance an ethanol mill would have for a country like that," he declared.

Amado recalled that Brazil and the United States, the two main global producers of fuel alcohol, are already working on a program for promotion of ethanol in developing nations. Today the project promotes initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, but at a second moment it should be expanded to Senegal and Guinea Bissau, in Africa. "We want to share what we know about biofuels with other developing nations," he said.

Since the release of the idea of the conference, international economic conditions have changed. At the end of last year, the price of oil was rising, there was great inflationary pressure on food and also fear of lack of supply and the financial crisis had not yet caused the recent global financial losses.

The ambassador pointed out, however, that the discussion about biofuels is not conjectural, but structural. That is, the importance does not depend on what the main topic of international talks is. From last year to date, several countries, mainly in the European Union, have lightened their considerations regarding ethanol, especially with regard to the product made in Brazil.

The conference should include topics like energy safety, climate change, sustainability – including food safety and generation of income -, innovation – including the development of second generation fuels, like cellulose ethanol – and the discussion of commercial, technical and social and environmental rules.

Also, together with the US, Brazil is already working on the creation of a standard for ethanol so that it may be treated as a commodity. These talks, according to Amado, include other countries, like South Africa and India. According to him, the topic is also being discussed by other governments, including the European Union, and by the private sector.

In this area, another question considered important and that should be discussed is the creation of an international organization turned exclusively to the energy sector, which currently does not exist. "We want there to be one," said the ambassador.

He pointed out that between 35 and 40 international delegations headed by ministers have already confirmed presence in the conference, and around 500 people have registered on the Internet to see the debates.

Service

www.biofuels2008.mre.gov.br

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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  • Show Comments (9)

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Sorry but in Europe, we have CENTRAL air conditioning ! Something that seems unknown or at best really fairly fairly new….in Brazil !!!!![/quote]

    It is amazing that you have [i]Central A/C[/i] in Europe. My hearty congrats. 😉
    As for your statement that “Something unknown” in Brazil, probably you have not traveled in Brazil sufficiently. Years ago, the [i]office[/i] building were built with Central air conditioning. The projects of such buildings were done with [i]good[/i] architects. The homes were (and still are) a different story.

    [quote]And here too, this has to do with your entrepreneurs and not elected representatives ! [/quote]

    There again, you did not catch up with my sarcasm. For the past 20 years, our “elected officials” have become “entrepreneurs”. There was this guy by name “ConceiÀƒ§Àƒ£o” with whom I used to exchange tit bits. He used to refer to them as “Political Entrepreneurs”. The objective of such segment is to gain power to be “Entrepreneurs” with Tax payers money, building Hi- Rises full of “pigeon holes” without central air conditioning, heating or adequate use of sun light to illuminate. That was I was talking about when I said “ask the architect” of the Shopping mall under discussion for the reason to consume more energy than some of the African nations. 😉

  • ch.c.

    Wait a second Joao
    – Those who developed the center pivots remain the Americans….for the actual sizes !
    – Elsewhere it is basically a copy of what americans do, and usually it is mostly Americans firms producing these large pivots.

    Also dont under estimate either Brazil :

    – there are many center pivots in Brazil. But as elsewhere, mostly produced and sold by Americans firms.
    – there are Brazilians firms in the industry. But once more their product are cheap…as usual, Bad quality…as usual, in need of
    high and costly maintenance and repair….also as usual !!!!!!

    This has NOTHING to do with your “elected” representatives but with the CHEAP AND LOW QUALITY PRODUCTS of your companies !!!!!

    And since you also talk about sugarcane, let me state clearly that despite Brazil is by far the world largest producer, YOUR COMPANIES have invested nearly ZERO for mechanical harvesters !
    And this despite mechanical harvesters exist for decades already.
    Australia sugarcane harvests are 100 % mechanized since 1980 ! In 2008 SP your most developed and wealthy state, where around 75 % of your sugarcane is cultivated has lower than 50 % of its harvest mechanized !!!! Again another proof that Brazilians are AGAINST LONG TERM INVESTMENTS ! Better yet most mechanical harvesters are made by…JOHN DEERE !!!!!!

    As I said in another thread, Brazil can do NOTHING BY THEIR OWN ! nothing…..nothing…..nothing !
    The Brazilian mentality is if it is not profitable in 2-3 years, it doesnt deserve investments ! If it needs 3-5 years to become profitable, then the Brazilian mentality is,,,ohhhh yessssss ONLY if the government subsidize most of the investments at very low rates !
    At that game, China will surpass your per capita GDP PPP and technological knowledge in less than 10 years. Look at the numbers and you will be surprised.
    They already have many (too many in facts) cars manufacturers. NOT ONE IN BRAZIL !
    Even India have their own cars manufacturers !!!!! NOT ONE IN BRAZIL.
    Same for Russia.

    Once more, Brazil is the one lagging the BRIC club !

    I repeat this has nothing to do with your elected representatives but with the Brazilian entrepreneurs mentality !!!!!!

    You want to build roads or infrastructures elsewhere…but dont do it in your own country !
    Welllll….I agree….elsewhere is so much better than Brazil !
    Even for your residential or commercial buildings ! they are nice on the outside designs, but ugly inside and also bad quality inside and outside ! CHEAP OVERALL BUT YOU WANT A HIGH PRICE !!!!!!!
    Just have a look at one of your commercial real estate building. You can see that there are thousands of air conditioners through the windows !
    Sorry but in Europe, we have CENTRAL air conditioning ! Something that seems unknown or at best really fairly fairly new….in Brazil !!!!!
    And here too, this has to do with your entrepreneurs and not elected representatives !

    😀 😉 😉

  • João da Silva

    Ch.C !
    [quote]And sorry Joao but in Tropical Climatess there are the rainy seasons ! And to my knowledge when it rains…there is Noooooo sun.
    Right or wrong ? smilies/cheesy.gif
    On top of that there are also many cloudy days. And in cloudy days it is quite somber….in Tropical Countries !!!!!
    Right or wrong ? smilies/cheesy.gif [/quote]

    Mon ami, I am talking about [i]optimal [/i] use of sun light for illumination of the buildings and [i]not[/i] the total elimination of electricity during the rainy/cloudy days. You as well as I know that Ethanol is not the only fuel to heat up a boiler and drive a turbine. In some other thread in this site I had written about the Americans using the solar energy to produce steam to drive turbines that are coupled to Power generators.

    As for your statement:

    [quote]The USA…of course… already for several decades !!!!!! [/quote]

    Yes, it does. Not only U.S., but other countries too. As I said, the technology exists. It is a question of applying the right one depending upon the prevailing conditions at the specific location.

    Of course, such ideas are very hard for our “elected” representatives to comprehend and take them up as viable alternatives. BUT…..BUT….., who cares. If they want to burn up the Amazon to grow sugar cane to produce Ethanol, who am I to prevent? 😀 😉

  • ch.c.

    “pivotal irrigation” in your farm in Western BA. So whoever came up with that idea has his brain in his right place.
    The USA…of course… already for several decades !!!!!!
    Who else could it have been ? Brazil ? Hmmmmm !
    And who is the largest producer of Center Pivots…in Brazil ? A Brazilian company ? Noooooo way….despite it is a relatively LOW
    technology ! The problem is the quality to last many years with relatively low maintenance costs….not the technology ! Even there Brazil is lagging ! 😀

    And sorry Joao but in Tropical Climatess there are the rainy seasons ! And to my knowledge when it rains…there is Noooooo sun.
    Right or wrong ? 😀
    On top of that there are also many cloudy days. And in cloudy days it is quite somber….in Tropical Countries !!!!!
    Right or wrong ? 😀

    This said outside of your comment I still maintain that the Shopping Center electricity is NOT powered by ethanol ! Therefore as I said there is Nooooooo relation between ethanol, the Shopping Center and Africa !

    Finally there is much more sun in Africa than in Tropical Climates, if you did not know it yet ! But I am sure you knew ! 😉
    Right or wrong ? 😀
    And In Africa too they have millions and millions of hectares ready to produce grains or sugarcane ! If Brazil is so good, what are
    the seeds they are going to use ? Swiss or American seeds ! 😀
    With what money will Brazil develop the Africa Savannas ? At what interests rate ? Brazilian rates ? smiles
    Will you build the roads there that you dont in your own country ? 😀
    What will be the source of the pesticides, insecticides, fongicides ? Swiss, American or Germans ? 😀

    Hmmmmm !!!!

  • João da Silva

    Ch.C
    [quote]And I bet that the Shopping Center is NOT using an ethanol power plant for its electricity consumption !!!!! [/quote]

    No, Ch.c. I meant to say that the architects ignored the fact Brazil is a tropical and sub tropical country and plenty of SUN LIGHT is available all through the year.Hence there is no need to waste so much electrical energy to illuminate the Shopping Mall, regardless of what the fuel is to generate the electricity. You will appreciate what I am saying only If you have visited the “Shopping Mall” in question.

    BTW, I am a big fan of alternative sources of energy and Brazil has plenty. It is enough to use oneÀ‚´s head to harness them, with existing technologies. To give an example, you have mentioned several times that you use “pivotal irrigation” in your farm in Western BA. So whoever came up with that idea has his brain in his right place. AND [i]not[/i] between his legs. 😀 😉

  • ch.c.

    Joao
    And I bet that the Shopping Center is NOT using an ethanol power plant for its electricity consumption !!!!!

    Therefore the relation between the Shopping Center, Africa and ethanol is…N I L……as usual !

    Hey hey !
    😉

  • João da Silva

    [quote]There are African countries whose annual consumption of energy is similar to that of Iguatemi Shopping center,” he said, referring to a traditional shopping mall in SÀƒ£o Paulo.[/quote]

    Ask the architect who built the Shopping center for the reason. 😉

  • ch.c.

    Furthermore…..
    “it is possible to prove on black and white that biofuels are currently the cleanest and cheapest forms for generation of electric energy.”
    – then why not building power plants…in Brazil…using sugarcane ethanol ? Only idiots wont do it if it is the cheapest form for electric energy. And your proofs on black and white was already proven…the other way around : the more oil prices went up, the more losses for your sugarcane ethanol producers despite sugar prices went down !!!!!!

    ” In Brazil, ethanol has been broadly used in vehicles for over 30 years”
    – MORE LIES THERE IS NOT ! Until a few years ago your ethanol vehicles production was NEAR ZERO due to the FIASCO OF your WRONG VISION !!!!!! Short memory…as usual ?????? Drinking a gallon of ethanol per day could be good—–FOR YOUR MEMORY !!!!!

    WHO COULD PROVE ME WRONG ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH !!!!!

  • ch.c.

    WHAT A JOKE ! FULL OF LIES !
    .””The study is going to show the areas for expansion of agriculture in the country, without including the Amazon, the Pantanal (wetlands in the west of the country), native Indian areas, forests, cities, etc.,”
    – Then why is deforestation increasing when GRAINS PRICES are high, and decreasing when prices are low. Furthermore it is only a STUDY, not a decision that will be applied. and the world knows that even promises or laws are not respected by Brazilians !

    “The study shows land that is currently underused. “It will be a great advance in this area, as details are lacking,” he said.
    – you said the same for many years. It did not affect deforestation so far. More defporestation when prices are high and less when prices are low. SAD REALITY…no one can contradict !

    “We do not plan to convince people to import ethanol from Brazil,”
    – Full of lies. Just re-read Robin the Crook ARROGANCE !

    “Brazil should need from four to five million hectares to double production of sugarcane.”
    – Doubtful. So far you are using 7 million hectares ! You wont increase productivity gain by 40 % in only 5 years ! IMPOSSIBLE !!!!

    “”Also due to the fact that domestic demand in Brazil should reduce the possibility of exports,”
    – then why so much arrogance from Robin the Crook ? Enjoy your BELOW OIL COSTS ADVANTAGE…if true. Thus far…UNPROVEN.

    “”There are African countries whose annual consumption of energy is similar to that of Iguatemi Shopping center,” he said, referring to a traditional shopping mall in SÀƒ£o Paulo. “Imagine the importance an ethanol mill would have for a country like that,”
    – thus feel free to develop sugarcane ethanol in Africa, WITH YOUR FINANCINGS. As much as You want ! No one ever told you dont do it ! NO ONE !!!!

    “Since the release of the idea of the conference, international economic conditions have changed. At the end of last year, the price of oil was rising,”
    – AND YOUR SUGAR AND ETHANOL PRODUCERS have seen their LOSSES GROW ! Strange but so it was even at the peak of oil prices there was a peak in LOSSES for sugarcane ethanol producers !!!!! Proof that your costs advantage guarantees were FULL OF LIES !

    “Brazil is already working on the creation of a standard for ethanol so that it may be treated as a commodity.”
    – But….but…but…it is already traded AS A COMMODITY….in various EXCHANGES…including in Brazil !

    “the discussion about biofuels is not conjectural, but structural”
    – Yesssss…OVER PRODUCTION and you want to double your production when oil prices are going DOWN !!!!!

    “”We want there to be one,”
    – Nooooo…you want to be Number One, and are already Number One ! You are going to be drown in your ethanol ! It will become mandatory that every Brazilian will have DAILY to either consume 3 kilos of sugar or drink one gallon of refined ethanol…to support the doubling of Brazilian sugarcane expansion ! If not enough…..the mandatory consumption will be expanded to include both….eat 3 kilos of sugar & drink a gallon of refined ethanol !!!!!

    Never ever trust what brazilians say is proven….once more ! They are just good at investments SCAMS such as your Ostriches and Teak Investments programs ! And if you are so sure of what you pretend….feel free to finance your investments with your MONEY ! Why invite foreigners ? Why not use part of your Us$ 200 billion in foreign currency reserves ? And why need US$ or Euros to invest in Brl currencies ! Your Banks or BNDES can finance this expansion at very LOW rates…using your Government ability to print as many Brl as they desire !!!!!!! smiles

    Brazil if full of junkies. Brazil is a junk country. Brazil is governed by crooks ! The Brazilian currency is a junk currency…good only for speculators (at times like me – smiles) but not good enough for foreign currency reserves in any foreign CENTRAL BANK NOT EVEN in China, Malaysia, Turkey, South Africa, other African or Asian countries !!!!!! And your local currency Government Interest rates are JUNKS by whatever standard you chose !!!!

    i WISH SOMEONE COULD PROVE ME WRONG !!!!!! The Casinos are not in Europe or USA but in South America in general, in
    Brazil and Argentina in particular !

    😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉

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