Bento Albuquerque, who is Brazil’s Mines and Energy Minister, warned that the country’s energy problem is worse than previously imagined, owing to a record drought that has hampered hydropower generation. Albuquerque declared the issue had worsened in a nationally broadcast statement that pre-empted the nightly news. Hydropower plant water reserves have already reached their lowest point in 91 years of data. Albuquerque remarked, “Today, I return to advise you that the hydro-energy situation has worsened.” “In the south, the rainy season was worse than anticipated. As a result, our hydroelectric power plants’ reservoirs in the southeast and Midwest have been reduced more than projected.”
He said that the drought has caused Brazil to lose hydropower output equivalent to the electricity utilized by the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro in just five months. In Brazil, hydropower is the most common form of energy. The minister highlighted that to relieve the problem, Brazilians must do all necessary to reduce energy use.
According to Albuquerque, federal government agencies have been ordered to reduce electricity consumption by 20 percent. Due to the drought, the ministry announced that the government would boost energy costs, with impacted users paying an average of 6.78 percent more for electricity beginning September 1. Due to the drought, regulators have already raised prices several times.
According to Albuquerque, the government has had to import power from the neighbours and increase power generation at fossil-fuel-burning plants, which is more expensive. The ministry also announced that it had authorized incentives for consumers to lower the energy consumption of their own volition. Albuquerque urged Brazilians to use natural light instead of artificial lighting and reduce their usage of air conditioners, electric showers, and clothing irons.
Brazil has the largest electricity sector in South America. It had a capacity of 175,407 MW at the close of 2020. The installed capacity increased by 5.8% every year on average since 1970, when it was 11,000 MW. Brazil has the world’s greatest water storage capacity, and it is heavily reliant on hydroelectricity producing capacity to supply nearly 70 percent of the electricity demand. The national grid operates at 60 Hz and is fuelled by renewable energy to the tune of 80%. Brazil’s reliance on hydropower puts it vulnerable to power supply problems during dry years, as the 2001-2002 energy crisis proved.
The power firms in the South-East, Center-West, South, North-East and a portion of the North make up the National Interconnected System (SIN). Only 3.4 percent of the country’s power is produced outside the SIN, in small, isolated systems primarily in the Amazonian region.