Brazil, being a country with a tropical climate, presents favorable conditions for the exploration of alternative energy sources, such as bioenergy, solar energy, wind energy, hydraulic energy, among others.
The brazilian agriculture use the fossil fuel diesel, that contribute for global warming. Logistics of transport and agricultural mechanization in Brazil is based on it, hence the prominent need for substitution with alternative fuels, as biofuels.
The agricultural and food industry in Brazil have been experiencing great economic development with an increase in energy consumption. Thereby is necessary to save energy and replace the traditional energy sources, based in fossil fuels for renewable energy.
The State University of the Western of Parana is localized in South of Brazil, respectively in the west of the state of Paraná. This state is one of more in agricultural production in Brazil, being the first in the production of barley, beans, corn and wheat, and the second largest producer of soybeans.
In the specific case of soybeans, the main producers are in the western region of Paraná, only Cascavel and Toledo city are responsible for more than 25% of state production. Other highlights of the West region are swine and poultry farming, where rural producers are integrated with large food processing companies, such as Brazil Foods (BRF), Coopavel, Cooperativa Lar, CVALE , Coopacol among others.
A part of this agricultural potential can be directed to production of agroenergy, not only in the form of biodiesel, but also in the form of biogas, using wastewater and solid wastes and from agricultural and food processing. Besides that the farmers and food industries can make use of distributed generation of electricity from solar energy, wind energy, generator engine of biogas and others.
In addition to agribusiness, the western region of Paraná stands out for being located on the triple border with Argentina and Paraguay, which contributes to the exchange in science and technology of the three countries.
The Postgraduate Program in Energy Engineering in Agriculture - PPGEA is linked to the Center for Exact and Technological Sciences - CCET, at the State University of the Western of Parana (UNIOESTE) in the Campus of Cascavel city. The Program has been in operation since year 2010. The program started with the master's course from the year 2010 to 2018.
In the year 2018 the postgraduate agency in Brazil, CAPES, approved the doctoral course, which started in the year 2019 with 15 students.
The Postgraduate Program in Energy Engineering in Agriculture - PPGEA is the result of the work of a group composed of research professors from UNIOESTE, UFPR (Federal University of Paraná) and IAPAR (Agronomic Institute of Paraná), which has been working strongly in research in the proposed program area.
The proposed program area is Agroenergy, which is composed of three lines of research:
- Renewable sources and energy rationalization in agroindustry and agriculture;
- Biomass and energy crops;
Between 2010 and 2020 there were two hundred and thirteen (213) defenses of master's dissertations in PPGEA.
PPGEA has been of great relevance for the training of professionals who have been inserted in the labor market in companies linked to the energy sector and supplying the professional demand of Universities and Institutes in the areas of engineering and energy linked to agriculture. These masters in energy engineering in agricultural have also been relevant in the creation and maintenance of energy R&D centers in the State of Parana, improving the socioeconomic conditions of farmers and food industries, which can make self-sufficient in energy by absorbing the technological innovations developed by the Institutes and Universities.
The mission is to leverage the technological development in the area of agroenergy through the training of qualified professionals, with a master's or doctor's degree, with scientific and technological competences and skills to modern agriculture, with an entrepreneur vision, ethics, social and environmental responsibility, working in companies, research institutes and universities.