Brazil Builds Gas, Coal Plants to Avert Drought-Induced Power Shortage
Brazil plans to open its first natural gas and coal power plants in three years, after the worst drought in eight decades dried up reservoirs for the hydroelectric facilities that supply 70% of the country’s power.
“Thermal plants, which are faster and easier to build and open than wind or hydroelectric facilities, will be used as a stopgap to ensure energy supplies,” Bloomberg reports. “Without the extra energy supplies, Brazil may be forced to ration power as soon as next year if the drought continues.”
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Recent government auctions had favoured wind and solar development, but “coal and gas plants can meet an urgent need,” energy consultant Bernardo Bezerra told Dezem. “The big question mark is: Is it worth contracting an expensive source of energy for so many years when you have cheaper and cleaner sources available like wind, simply because of a short-term need?”