Drought Risk Assessment of Sugarcane-Based Electricity Generation in the Rio dos Patos Basin, Brazil

Campos Zeballos, Jazmin, Sebesvari, Zita, Rhyner, Jakob, Metz, Marcus and Bufon, Vinicius, B., (2022). Drought Risk Assessment of Sugarcane-Based Electricity Generation in the Rio dos Patos Basin, Brazil. Sustainability, 14(10), n/a-n/a

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Campos Zeballos, Jazmin
    Sebesvari, Zita
    Rhyner, Jakob
    Metz, Marcus
    Bufon, Vinicius, B.
    Title Drought Risk Assessment of Sugarcane-Based Electricity Generation in the Rio dos Patos Basin, Brazil
    Appearing in Sustainability
    Volume 14
    Issue No. 10
    Publication Date 2022-05-20
    Place of Publication Basel
    Publisher MDPI
    Start page n/a
    End page n/a
    Language eng
    Abstract Brazil has a large share of hydropower in its electricity matrix. Since hydropower depends on water availability, it is particularly vulnerable to drought events, making the Brazilian electricity matrix vulnerable to climate change. Starting in 2005, Brazil opened the matrix to new renewable sources, including sugarcane-based electricity. Sugarcane is known for its resilience to short dry spells. Over the last decades, its production area moved from the coastal plains of the Atlantic Forest biome to the savannahs of the Cerrado biome, which is characterised by a five- to six month-long dry season. The sugarcane-based electricity system is highly dynamic and complex due to the interlinkages, dependencies, and cascading impacts between its agricultural and industrial subsystems. This paper applies the risk framework proposed by the IPCC to assess climate-change-driven drought risks to sugarcane electricity generation systems to identify their strengths and weaknesses, considering the system dynamics and linkages. Our methodology aims to understand and characterize drought in the agriculture as well as industrial subsystems and offers a specific understanding of the system by using indicators tailored to sugarcane-based electricity generation. Our results underline the relevance of actions at different levels of management. Initiatives, such as regional weather forecasts specifically for agriculture, and measures to increase industrial water-use efficiency were identified to be essential to reduce the drought risk. Actions from farmers and mill owners, supported and guided by the government at different levels, have the potential to increase the resilience of the system. For example, the implementation of small dams was identified by local actors as a promising intervention to adapt to the long dry seasons; however, they need to be implemented based on a proper technical assessment in order to locate these dams in suitable places. Moreover, the results show that creating and maintaining small water reservoirs to enable the adoption of deficit-controlled irrigation technology contribute to reducing the overall drought risk of the sugarcane-based electricity generation system.
    UNBIS Thesaurus BAGASSE
    Keyword Bioenergy systems
    Systemic risk
    Adaptation
    Risk reduction
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2022
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.3390/su14106219
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    Created: Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 18:22:49 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS