Indigenous community protests are having an expensive impact on hydroelectric power projects in the Amazon region of Brazil.

The developers “claim that the invasions raise the projects’ costs, and in fact it does, and can even cause the stoppage of works,” Energy Minister Edison Lobao told reporters in Brasilia.
Belo Monte
Indigenous groups say the plants threaten the local environment. The conflict between developers and local tribes will become more pressing with about 10 new hydro projects planned in the Amazon region with more than 10,000 MW of capacity over the next decade,

Work delays on a project as big as Belo Monte, which will be the world’s third-largest hydropower plant when complete, may cost as much as $1.4m a day, according to an analyst quoted in Bloomberg.

There is also speculation that delaying completion may prompt the government to build more natural gas-fired plants.

Brazil expects to build 38,375 MW of capacity through 2020 and large hydroelectric plants will account for 68 per cent of that, according to the nation’s energy plan through 2020.

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