Energy crop storage: An alternative to resolve the problem of unpredictable hydropower generation in Brazil

Julian David Hunt, Vincent Guillot, Marcos Aurélio Vasconcelos de Freitas, Renzo S.E. Solari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Due to the lack of energy storage in the new hydropower plants in the Amazon region, Brazil will require thermoelectric power plants to generate electricity during the dry period (May-October). Biomass based electricity generation, especially eucalyptus trees, can be used to replace the expensive liquefied natural gas infrastructure required to generate electricity during the dry seasons and emergency generation during dry years in Brazil. This article presents a new electricity generation scheme called "Energy Crop Storage". In this scheme, biomass is grown and stored in eucalyptus plantations in order to match the supply of energy to its demand. For example, during wet years in Brazil, when biomass plants operate at 50% capacity, the eucalyptus trees are allowed to continue growing. During dry years, the biomass stored is used more intensively as biomass generation raises to 90% of its capacity. It was concluded that natural gas is a high risk investment in Brazil because, if there are several consecutive wet years, the expensive infrastructure dedicated to natural gas based electricity generation will remain on standby. Biomass plantations, on the other hand, are a more reliable investment as the biomass is stored when the biomass demand is lower.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy
  • Pollution


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