The economic potential of the State of São Paulo is supplied by an established energy mix containing important renewable energy sources, of which sugar cane biomass represents 29% of the total energy produced in the State and hydraulic energy 8%. Petroleum and derivatives, natural gas, coal, wood fuel and other sources supply, respectively, 60%, 6%, 2.6%, 1% and 2%, according to data published by the State Energy Department (SEE) – (2011).
The State is responsible for 18% of the national capacity for generating hydropower and 52% of the Country’s alcohol fuel production, making São Paulo a recognized leader in the generation of clean energy (SEE - 2011).
In addition to a significant set of hydroelectric power stations, a huge capacity for the production of sugar cane ethanol and distribution of piped gas brought from the Brazil-Bolivia pipeline, São Paulo also has hydrocarbon reserves in the Bacia de Santos, which extends along the entire São Paulo coastline and represents the most promising area of exploration on the entire Brazilian coast. In 2012, 14 new wells were sunk in the Bacia de Santos (Santos Basin), making a total 51 (37 explored), according to Petrobras.
Although still limited, the use of natural gas is also growing in the State. Over a 15 year period, end use of this energy source has grown from 2% to 6%. In 2011, after starting operations on the first stretch of the Caraguatatuba/Taubaté Gas pipeline (Gastau), one of the most important public works infrastructure for increasing supply of natural gas in the Southeastern region of Brazil, means use of this energy source should continue to grow.
Dedicated to supporting research in the area of biofuels, creating knowledge for sustainable production and applications based mainly on sugar cane ethanol, the State of São Paulo Research Support Foundation (Fapesp) uses the Bioenergy Research Program (Bioen) to link academic and applied research into bioenergy with companies in the sector.
The Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE) is a research, development and innovation institution dedicated to obtaining highly productive sugar cane ethanol through maximum utilization of raw materials and compliance with sustainable practices by the production sector. Situated in Campinas, the CTBE develops research programs in the areas of agriculture, industry, technology and sustainability. As well as the budget allocated by the federal government, the research activities undertaken by the CTBE may be subsidized by funds deriving from companies in the public sector and research support institutions such as Fapesp and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
Aiming to foment scientific research and scientific and technological development in the petroleum, natural gas and biofuels industry, the Funding Authority for Studies and Projects (Finep) manages CT Petro, a science and technology fund devoted to increasing productivity, cost reduction and improvement of product quality.