Rousseff: Brazil committed to hydroelectric power

Dilma Rousseff

Responding to a preliminary 10-year energy plan released recently by the Brazilian government, President Dilma Rousseff said her country will continue to rely on hydroelectric power, despite the plan's emphasis on other renewable sources.

"Brazil will not give up on hydropower," said Rousseff, speaking at a United Nations general assembly in New York this week. "To provide electricity to a country of 204 million inhabitants, you need to have baseload energy sources. Ours is hydroelectricity."

The 460-page proposal, submitted for public commentary by Brazilian planning agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica (EPE) mid-September, could see the country's renewable sources make up 45% of its overall energy mix by 2030.

The plan is expected to increase hydropower's total capacity by 27 GW to 117 GW, though hydro's place in Brazil's overall mix will dip from about 70% to under 60% due to 19 GW increases in wind power, and 7 GW increases in solar and biomass.

EPE's plan also emphasizes a shift away from large-scale hydropower projects, though small hydro is expected to increase by about 3 GW under the proposal.

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