Brazil may have to power the Olympic Games next year in Rio with diesel-fired temporary power plants after failing to meet a date for conclusion of agreement to use clean power.

That utility company, Light, and the federal government missed a self-imposed October 31st deadline to sign a deal to power the games, and in a recent meeting with officials from the International Olympic Committee, organizers were pressed to come up with an alternative.
Brazil 2016 logo
In its original proposal to the International Olympic Committee, organizers promoted the sustainability of Rio’s existing power grid. Around 85 per cent of Brazilian electricity comes from renewable sources, mainly hydroelectric power, according to a Rio 2016 sustainability report published last year.

“Therefore, our target is to use as much grid energy as possible,” wrote the organizers in the report. “Rio 2016 has been working with the Rio de Janeiro electrical utility provider to provide the base power-supply capacity and primary back-up power to our key venues with energy from the grid.”

Temporary power generators were mean to be the back-up plan to clean grid energy.

“It’s good for a Plan B, but it’s not good enough for Plan A,” said Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada. “We’d rather stick to the Plan A.”

By contrast London had signed a deal with EDF Energy five years before the event and which, two years in advance, set up an energy center inside the Olympic Park.

London still drew criticism for using 373 temporary generators for the Olympics and the Paralympics that followed.

The IOC said it has spoken with Ricardo Leyser, executive secretary at Brazil’s Ministry of Sport. “We expect the Brazilian organizers to deliver on their plan for energy provision as it was presented to us during that meeting,” the IOC said in a statement.