The expansion planning of generation, transmission and distribution systems of electric power requires environmental assessments of strategic nature, with the incorporation of the environmental dimension as a variable in the decision making process. In this sense, it is noteworthy the development of methodologies for incorporating the socio-environmental dimension in the electrical systems planning.
In Brazil, the energy planning has been carried out by the government through a sequence of studies on Expansion Plans coordinated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME). This sequence is structured in long-term studies (Energy Matrix and National Energy Plan) and also short-term studies (Ten-Year Energy Expansion Plan).
AAEXP (Strategic Environmental Assessment for Generation Expansion Planning) is a project focused on the development of tools that seek environmental assessment of generation expansion plans, having as methodological reference the assumptions of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (known by the Portuguese acronym AAE), adequate to the evaluation of impact assessment as support to decision making at the level of policies, plans and programs. In this manner, the synergistic and cumulative impacts, either inter-sectorial, regional or global, are analyzed in a more appropriate and integrated manner.
In the past, methodologies such as the one proposed for the socioenvironmental evaluation in previous editions of the Ten-Year Energy Expansion Plan have been developed in the scope of this project. Also, a methodology for defining the social and environmental impact index of reference for the expansion of the National Interconnected System (NIS) was also developed, aiming at its application to the complementary energy of the alternatives of division of the water head in hydroelectric river basin inventory studies.
Currently, the project is subdivided into three branches: Development of metrics for the socio-environmental impact of electric energy sources for insertion into long-term planning models; Methodology for evaluating the socio-environmental criticity of wind projects; and the Ambientrans Model: minimization of socio-environmental impacts related to the implementation of transmission lines projects.
Aiming to broaden the scope of analysis of energy system expansion in the MATRIZ model within the multiobjective approach, the project called "socio-environmental impact metrics of electric energy sources for insertion into long-term planning models" seeks to select the most relevant socio-environmental issues in long-term energy planning studies. It also aims to propose ways for its implementation in the model, incorporating the social-environmental variable as a criterion for long-term planning.
The methodology for Local Criticality Assessment of Wind Energy Projects aims to: evaluate the potential positive and negative impacts of wind farms to Brazilian localities based on primary field information, thus outlining the main drivers of acceptance or non-acceptance of the technology; and to develop a methodology to minimize the negative impacts and increase local wind farms gains, considering the environmental, economic and social spheres, which can reduce delays and conflicts between the different agents involved in the activity.
The methodology used in the development of the so-called Ambientrans tool relies on the use of geoprocessing tool, being based on the minimization of negative impacts and on the consideration of the main technical aspects of construction in the process of formulation, evaluation and selection of alternatives of transmission line corridors. It takes as a base the method of superposition of thematic charts, where each theme corresponds to an aspect or to a set of selected aspects that represent restrictions or points / areas of attraction for the passage of transmission lines.
Figure: Three Corridor Alternatives considering Different Criteria
In the figure above, the AMBIENTRANS tool was used favoring different criteria. The green alternative privileges the parallelism with existing transmission lines; the blue alternative privileges the proximity to existing roads and the red alternative privileges land use.
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