Daniel Sotelino, Enhesa’s Brazilian EHS Expert, was recently published for his article in The Environmental Law Reporter, Complexo Madeira: Environmental Licensing for Large-Scale Hydropower in Brazil.
Here’s the Abstract:
Hydropower is often considered a climate-friendly solution to energy needs. Brazil has elected to construct a major hydroelectric project in the Amazon region: Complexo Madeira. A case study of Complexo Madeira illuminates the Brazilian licensing process for this project and reveals the challenges and benefits of such a process, including the resulting policy changes and political rifts. Brazil’s licensing process is relatively demanding, and the environmental impact studies for Brazilian projects are lengthy. The Complexo Madeira environmental impact studies considered only nuclear and thermoelectric alternatives to this major hydropower project, and failed to consider energy efficiency or distributed generation as legitimate alternatives—a critical oversight that should be avoided in future hydropower project licensing.
According to the Energy Information Agency, Brazil is the ninth largest consumer of energy in the world. Within its borders, Brazil also contains most of what is left of the Amazon rainforest. This Article uses the licensing process for Complexo Madeira to illustrate how Brazil is applying its regulatory scheme to navigate its energy trilemma—the tension between the need for additional renewable and reliable energy capacity in the form of major hydroelectric dams, the risk to the Amazon, and the financial cost and opportunities of major infrastructure developments.
Daniel Sherwood Sotelino is a legal consultant at Enhesa, an international environmental, health, and safety compliance assistance consulting group.
Follow this link to read the full article: http://www.enhesa.com/en/service/docs/Complexo_Madeira_Daniel_Sotelino.pdf
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