New water crisis for Brazil
The country is suffering once again from a water crisis, which is reducing the supply to the hydroelectric reservoirs; the solution necessarily involves investment in solar and wind energy
In 2021, Brazil is once again experiencing a water crisis. It is happening in the hydrographic basins of the southeast and central west (the Rio Grande, Rio Paraguai, and Rio Paraná) which concentrate 70% of the hydroelectric reservoirs in the country. "In the current water crisis, the country has to accelerate the procurement of new renewable sources, such as wind and solar. They are the cheapest sources available and could be operating in two to three years. In the semi-arid northeast of Brazil, they have provided exceptional productivity when compared internationally. They are the best, if not the only insurance against this type of extreme weather event for electric generation,” says Roberto Kishinami, the coordinator of the iCS Energy portfolio.
In an interview with epbr, Luiz Eduardo Barata, a former director of the National Operator of the Electric System (ONS) and an iCS consultant, makes a direct correlation between the water crisis, climate change and deforestation. “The question of the impact on the energy supply is in relation to this climate issue and the reservoirs of our hydroelectric plants,” he says. For him, the generation of energy from renewables, such as solar and wind, can finally play a leading role in the post-2030 national electric matrix. In this situation, the hydroelectric plants would occupy the role played today by the thermal power plants.
And what is this role? They are activated only when there is a supply risk, like now – and many of these thermal power plants are coal-fired. As a consequence, there are higher greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in electricity bills.