Journal of International Development and Cooperation Volume 18 Issue 1
2011-12-01 発行

Bioenergy and mobility : cooperation between Japan and Brazil within a low carbon world <Research Note>

Pacca, Sergio
Promoting the use of renewable energy sources is fundamental to maintain a low carbon world. One challenge is finding appropriate low carbon technologies to fuel the mobility needs of our society. Although, the capacity of biofuels, as a carbon mitigation option, depends on various factors, the potential of sugarcane ethanol as a greenhouse gas reduction option is already established. This brief assessment shows that the current sugarcane cropped area for ethanol production in Brazil is enough to power the combined car fleet of Japan and Brazil. The optimization of the energy throughput of 1 ha of sugarcane to provide for the mobility needs of the 2 countries depends on the adoption of state of the art technologies, which are cost competitive. The maximization of the environmental benefits, which include both carbon dioxide and ancillary local pollution reduction, depends on the trade between the 2 countries in order to enable access to products which are part of the intrinsic vocation of the industry in each one. In order to balance the flows of capital between the 2 countries it is possible to trade electric vehicles for ethanol. If a company (sugar mill) in Brazil imports and leases electric vehicles and guarantees that they are charged with bioelectricity, the use of these vehicles will enhance global and local air quality. The monetary value of ethanol imported by Japan, which are based on 3.9 million ha of sugarcane in Brazil are comparable to the value of 583,000 EVs. This fleet of EVs correspond to 3% of the fleet that can be potentially powered by 2,1 million ha of sugarcane, which is enough to fuel the Brazilian car fleet of 33 million vehicles. Over 5 years, emission savings on one ha basis, combining the effect of the use of one electric vehicle in Brazil and the substitution of ethanol for gasoline in Japan equals to 113 metric tons of CO2.