Brazil’s Senate passes bill creating a national biofuels policy

By Ron Kotrba | December 19, 2017

Brazil’s Senate approved a bill Dec. 12 creating a national biofuels policy, RenovaBio, to increase use of biodiesel and ethanol, in addition to other biofuels. RenovaBio is a state policy that aims to recognize the strategic role of all types of biofuels in the national energy matrix, both for energy security and for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Sen. Álvaro Dias praised the project for ensuring “modernity, technological advancement and the development of the country with the necessary environmental preservation.”

Among the goals of RenovaBio are contributing to Brazil’s compliance with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, ensuring energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions, expanding production and use of biofuels, and ensuring the competitiveness of these sources in the national market.

To achieve these objectives, the legislation proposes the use of targets for mandated blending of biofuels with fossil fuels, certification, fiscal, financial and credit incentives, as well as actions in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The text also proposes the use of carbon credits, granted to biofuel producers according to the proportion of clean energy produced by them. The higher the ratio, the more credits the company will receive. The credits will be traded on the stock exchange and bought by sectors that need them to offset their own carbon emissions.

Sen. Cidinho Santos said Brazil is the second largest producer of biofuels in the world, having generated 27 billion liters of ethanol and 4.2 billion liters of biodiesel in 2017. It was noted in a Senate press release that Brazil never had a specific policy for biofuels together.

“It’s not a proposition that deals only with ethanol and biodiesel,” Santos said. “There is a notable potential for commercial insertion for biogas, biomethane and aviation biokerosene. In this way it will be a public policy that for the first time will stimulate and recognize the role of biofuels for energy security and their role in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases in the fuel sector.”

The legislation now goes to President Michel Temer for signing into law.