Brazil bets big on wind as it updates its power sector

By the Potencia correspondent

Brazil, South America’s biggest and most populated country has been going through an unstoppable industrial process in the last decades. This process will lead Brazil towards real modernization. And part of this modernization will involve its electricity sector, with wind power playing a pivotal role.

Electricity demand is continuously growing as the Brazilian population reached almost 194 million inhabitants, according to the World Bank. Many Brazilians live in rural and impoverished areas that need an electricity supply to be able to develop.

Moreover, Brazil faces two important challenges in the second decade of the 21st Century. Both challenges are the organization of the next football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro two years later. Brazil needs big energy investments to guarantee the success of those events.

Time goes by so fast and plans to build the infrastructures needed for the Wold Cup and the Olympics are going on. Brazil is an excellent market for the electric companies as the geography and subsoil of the country are rich in resources to generate electricity.

Many big hydro power stations are on Brazilian soil such as the Itaipu dam. Other ways to produce lighting, as petrol combustion “Spanish company Repsol found petrol reserves on Brazilian territorial waters in the Atlantic Ocean-, coal or sugar cane are commonly used.

However, all those sources to generate electric power have a competitor that is making a big progress in Brazil: wind power.

Investments in wind power projects are continuously growing in Brazilian territory.

In 2014, the country will have 280 new wind power farms with a total capacity of 7200 MW, South American Business Information claimed.

Wind power has an important advantage respect to other industries to produce electric power: its condition of clean and renewable energy. Most governments are increasingly concerned about pollution problems and encourage companies to produce energy while respecting the environment. This is why wind power farms have gained the support of Brazilian ecologist organizations and many public opinion groups.

Some Brazilian companies as CPFL Energia have invested billions of reales buying technology and equipment for their wind power farms. CPFL Energàƒ­a generates nowadays 210 MW and its projects in works located in northern Rio Grande do Norte state are expected to produce 550 MW. Rio Grande do Norte, one of the smallest Brazilian states, will receive one third of the global country investment. There will be 83 wind power farms and many of them belong to CPFL Energia. The company will build up about 98 towers.

Renova is another Brazilian big energy company that is developing some projects in Bahia state. With 180 wind towers Renova will produce 300 MW but they are expected to reach 1,100 MW.

The present renewable energy production in Brazil reached 1 GW, but in 2014 the generation will reach 7 GW, according to Power Engineering International magazine. Wind power projects contribute enormously to this goal. Some experts interviewed by the publication predicted that Brazil will have an overall electric generation capacity of 175 GW by 2020. At the present moment the Brazilian electric production is about 115 GW.

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