Conflicts and policies in renewable energy: the wind farms on the coast of Maranhão State, Northeast Brazil

Authors: Wellington Romão Oliveira*, Funceme - Meteorology and Water Resources Foundation of Ceará-Brazil
Topics: Energy, Cultural and Political Ecology, Land Use
Keywords: Wind farms, Political Ecology, Brazilian Northeast
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 50
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Brazil has most of its energy power from renewable sources, with wind power accounting about 10% of the Brazilian energy matrix, with installed capacity of 17GW and 660 wind farms. The northeast of the country concentrates more than 85% of the parks, and the state of Maranhão appears with one of the most recent in the installation of the wind source. With the idea of being free of negative impacts, especially the non-emission of pollutant gases, wind energy has great acceptance and support from the government. Based on the literature of Political ecology and Geography of Energy, this paper analyzes the conflicts and policies that involved the installation of wind farms on the coast of the state of Maranhão, northeast Brazil. The paper highlights the similarities in the process of installing wind energy in the states of northeast Brazil, with emphasis on the discourse of generating employment, income and improving the quality of life in communities. Fifteen wind farms were installed in the coastal plain, which covers a mosaic of ecosystems, including dune fields, coastal restingas, mangroves and lagoons, which contain a diverse and rare fauna. Although it is a legally protected area, activities such as the installation of wind farms can easily obtain environmental licensing, and even receive government incentives, considering its status as a "clean" and renewable source. The impacts of the installation affect the environment and traditional communities, especially fisherman, with changes in the daily lives of these populations and in their economic and social activities.

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