Brazilian government plays down power shortages

Despite rainfall shortage, the Brazilian government has denied that power rationing may have to be introduced, in an unwelcome reminder of past energy problems.

The country is primarily powered by hydropower dams but conditions have impacted to the extent that President Dilma Rousseff’s aggressive programme to cut the price of power by 20 per cent this year looks under threat.
President Dilma Rousseff
Despite this, energy minister Edison Lobão said after a meeting on Wednesday of electricity sector officials there was no cause for concern. “There is not, has not been and hopefully will not be in the future any shortage,” he said.

The FT reports that data from Brazil’s national electrical system operator, ONS, shows that hydropower dams in the important southeast and centre west regions are holding the lowest level of water capacity since 2001.

The country is better equipped now with an increased capacity of fossil fuel powered plants available to operate in the event of water shortfall, however there remains concern at the high cost of generating power from gas and other fossil fuels, in comparison to relatively cheaper hydropower.

For more hydroelectric power news

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