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Latin America Report: U.S. Bill Would Extend Tax on Brazilian Ethanol

There are new accusations of protectionism being levied against the United States, but this time it's coming from Brazil's sugarcane industry.

As American renewables have come under fire in the U.S., it has sparked a new examination within Congress of subsidies for industries both inside and outside its borders. While recent headlines point to the potential for new tariffs being placed on solar panels being imported into America from China, a new battle is brewing over current duties on ethanol.

House Resolution 3552 calls for an extention of tariffs on foreign ethanol. The move could have significant impacts on the price of gasoline in America and on the ethanol industry in Brazil. According to a representative of Brazil’s sugarcane industry, the legislation threatens a trade war between otherwise friendly nations, and the organization goes on to say it is coming without merit. The group says Brazil eliminated subsidies more than a decade ago and that it has not taxed U.S. ethanol since 2010.


 

IN THE NEWS

Brazil Wind Manufacturing: Alstom opened a wind turbine plant with a manufacturing capacity of about 300 MW per year. The new plant represents an initial investment of about $27 million and will generate 150 direct jobs.

Digging for Geothermal Energy: Mustang Geothermal Corporation is expanding operations in South America with the acquisition of three more exploration concessions in southern Peru, giving it a total of seven concessions in the country.

Biofuel Flight: Mexican airline Aeromexico has joined airlines in the U.S., Europe and China in using a biofuel-blended aviation jet fuel to power a demonstration flight.

Transformative Power: The Toronto Star reports how $1 million worth of solar panels shipped from China will have a profound impact on raising the standard of living in rural villages in Brazil.


 

ON THE HORIZON

Brazil’s Wind Shines: Fueled by falling electricity prices, Brazil’s wind power sector has a current capacity of around 1,400 megawatts and is expected to grow nearly eight-fold by 2014, according to the Brazilian Association of Wind Energy ABEEolica. A study by IHS Emerging Energy Research says Brazil, already Latin America's leading wind energy market, is expected to have 31.6 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2025.

One Company’s Goal for Expansion: Areva Koblitz plans 584 million reais ($327.3 million) in hydro and biomass projects throughout Latin America. According to BusinessWeek, the company is seeking to sign contracts to build facilities with 200 megawatts of installed capacity by 2016 in the region. The company says it will focus on Peru, Chile and Uruguay in South America and Honduras, Panama and Guatemala in Central America.


 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

A Balance of Power: Projects in Bolivia, Chile and Brazil underscore the difficult balance between promoting cleaner forms of technology and maintaining the rights of the indiginuous population.

Battle on Chile’s Coast: While the country is generally supportive of wind farms, a large-scale onshore development planned for Chile’s sweeping coastline has some environmentalists worried that the project could harm the blue whale, migratory birds and penguins.


 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Climate Talks in Durban

“We have no problem in looking at a timeline that will take us from here to there engaging in that kind of exercise. The structure of that post-2020 framework will be solved in the negotiations.”
Brazilian envoy Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, who signaled his country is not prepared to sign to a road map that will lead to a legally binding emissions target.


 

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 

Nov. 23-30, 2011 Latin America Report: Ready for Explosive Growth

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