Rio de Janeiro - The cooperation agreement between Brazil and China, through the China-Brazil Centre for Climate Change and Innovative Energy Technologies, could yield benefits for Brazil, especially in the area of renewable energy, according to Segen Estefen, Technology and Innovation Director, Coordination Board of Postgraduate Programmes in Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Coppe-UFRJ). He participated in the seminar held today (27 July) by the China-Brazil Centre at University City in Rio de Janeiro.
The China-Brazil Centre is the result of a partnership between Coppe and Tsinghua University, China's foremost university in the field of engineering. The centre's objective is to formulate strategies and action plans to help the two governments make decisions in the areas of energy and the environment.
Segen Estefen said Brazil and China share common characteristics in terms of the debates on pollutant gas emissions, which opens the opportunity for converging actions by the two countries, "which is positive for Brazil." He underscored that with regard to renewable technologies in particular, in which China has been playing a prominent role in recent years due to low production costs, there are great opportunities for transferring technology to Brazil, mainly aerogenerator towers, wind power, and solar panels, with an emphasis on photovoltaics.
"In this context, Coppe seeks a partnership where we could contribute to the advancement of these technologies while, at the same time, reworking them to accommodate Brazil's reality so they may be more efficient for conditions in Brazil." Coppe is set to sign an agreement in the next few days with a major Chinese company that manufactures aerogenerators, "with the possibility of Brazil tropicalizing the equipment," he said.
Another project that is underway calls for two Coppe researchers to spend 60 days in China and has to do with producing biofuels, with an emphasis on biodiesel. "We would use palm to produce biodiesel, which is a technology that the Chinese developed in association with Denmark and that we want to adjust to Brazil's reality also."
According to Segen Estefen, the idea is to work with the Chinese on the technology they are developing but with an emphasis on its usage in Brazil. He said the country should take advantage of the dynamics of China's economic growth "and try to draw some benefit and not compete with their production capacity." According to the Coppe director, it is unlikely that Brazil will be able to compete with the Chinese in terms of production. "But we can help improve the technology and share with them ownership of certain technological developments."
In practical terms, bilateral cooperation between Coppe and Tsinghua University could result in the transfer of Brazilian technology to China and Chinese technology to Brazil. "That is one of the goals, but it is not limited to just transferring technology. [The goal] is to find points of convergence where our experience can be added to their experience."
Although the Chinese have more advanced technology for solar and wind energy, the Asian country could benefit from technology from Coppe, which is developing the means to generate energy from waves and tides. Estefen says the Chinese also recognize Brazil's preeminence in technology for deepwater oil production. Chinese students are working in this field with researchers at Coppe.
"What we want is for the centre at Tsinghua to bring together our initiatives with other universities in China." Estefen said Brazil cannot remain on the sidelines of what is happening in China. "China today is a very important vector on a global scale. And if you are not interacting with China in some way, you will tend to be sidelined from this global trend."
Source: Agencia Brasil website, Brasilia, in Portuguese 28 Jul 11