Mainly related to wind power, the Federal Government regulated the cession of maritime areas and interior waters for offshore electric energy generation, and research and development activities. It seeks sustainable development goals and the exploration of its energy potential.

The Federal Government, through Decree n.º 10.946/2022, regulated the cession of physical areas and natural resources for their use in offshore electric energy generation, i.e., power generation at interior waters under federal jurisdiction, territorial waters, the Brazilian continental shelf, and the Brazilian exclusive economic zone. The decree is designed to correct a regulatory gap on offshore generation, especially for offshore wind power generation, and promote specific goals related to sustainable development (article 3). It does not comprise hydroelectricity or oil and gas activities (article 1).

According to the 2050 National Energy Plan (see more in the 19th edition of the Regulatory Report), while currently impractical, a 20% capital expenditure reduction in offshore wind power generation would lead to about 16 GW in operational capacity by 2050, while onshore wind power generation would account for 110 GW in capacity under that scenario. According to the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL)’s Generation Information System, wind power generation (EOL) adds up to about 21 GW in operational capacity as of January 2022, around 11.7% of the Brazilian Electricity Matrix.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) is the body responsible for administering the cession process, with the support of the Ministry of Economy (article 4), ANEEL, and the federal administration bodies listed in article 10. The cession contracts may comprise electricity generation or research and development activities related to offshore power generation, the latter being free of charge (article 5). Contract conditions are provided in articles 18 and 19.

The decree established two formats for the cession process, the “planned cession”, i.e., the public offering of previously determined areas through public bids, and “independent cession”, i.e., cession of areas at the request of interested parties (article 9). Rules regarding the planned cession are provided in articles 11 to 13, while the rules for independent cession are provided in articles 14 to 17.

Additionally, article 25 of the decree established that a joint normative act from the interested regulatory agencies, including ANEEL and the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), will provide rules regarding the implementation of hybrid projects. ANEEL and ANP will also assess the possibility of offshore power generation at areas coinciding with offshore oil and gas exploration and production.