Brazil’s developing, and getting greener

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From Green Right Now Reports

GE turbines in Brazil (Photo:

Fast-growing Brazil has been criticized for chopping down rainforests to make way for beef cattle, soy and sugar farms.

But those days may be behind us. Brazil is fast becoming an industrial leader with a growing green conscience, as two reports out this week show.

In the first, scientists report that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 77 percent from 2004 to 2011, though the scientists said Brazil’s carbon emissions did not drop commensurately, according to a study in Global Change Biology.  That’s because the slow decay of roots or burning of wood biomass produced carbon emissions, even though the much slower deforestation curbed carbon pollution.

The net reduction was a 57 percent drop in carbon emissions from deforestation over the period studied.

The second promising report out of Brazil comes from US-based General Electric, which is trumpeting a new wind turbine developed especially for Brazil.

The 1.85-82.5 turbine (so called for the megawatts it produces and the span of its blades) is designed to best take advantage of Brazil’s relatively gentle but steady winds.

“Brazil has unique conditions in a couple of ways,” says Lauren Thirer, a wind product strategy leader at GE quoted in GE’s Ecomagination newsletter.

“It has strong and steady winds, but they are not turbulent. That means you want a turbine that can capture a lot of wind, but you know it won’t undergo all the stresses normally associated with those very high wind speeds.”

GE Energy has more than 300 GE turbines installed in Brazil, and has plans to supply wind and gas turbines for projects that will total 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, according to the company.




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