Brazil defends priority for hydroelectric investment

The president of Brazil’s state-owned utility holding company defended Brazil’s emphasis on hydro project investment in an international meeting on hydropower of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

President Jose Antonio Muniz of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras) defended diversified investment in the Brazilian energy matrix, with priority for new hydroelectric plants.

�We have to work with all possible sources, but in the short term we should take more of our potential and invest mainly in hydroelectric plants and some in nuclear plants, without losing sight of sources such as wind,� Muniz said February 12.

Muniz said the operation of hydroelectric power at full load and the subsequent reduction in the use of thermal power might cause a small reduction in the electricity tariff in Brazil.

�This should lead to a decrease in the cost of production, but the charge involves a broad set of variables that go beyond this, such as taxes, which account for more than 40 percent of the Brazilian energy rate,� he said.

The utility official also outlined plans for sustainable development of hydroelectric projects in Brazil’s Amazon Region.

Director General Albert Cordeiro Geber de Meio of Brazil’s center for electric energy, Centro de Pesquisas de Energia Eletrica (Cepel), said the IEA meeting was convened after Brazil’s Ministerio de Minas e Energia (MME) approached the IEA to defend the country’s interests in energy development.

�We proposed the creation of working groups and made the invitation to the IEA to come to Brazil to know good examples related to hydroelectricity, which are not shown to the international community,� said Cordeiro, who served as mediator of the meeting.

The meeting included experts in hydroelectricity and representatives of organizations devoted to energy development from several countries, including Brazil, France, Japan, Norway, Canada, and Finland. Program topics included presentations and discussions on several issues related to hydropower such as technological development and sustainable exploitation of hydroelectricity.

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