Rio power prices skyrocket as drought worsens

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Electricity prices in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state will rise 19% as consumers feel the impact of prolonged drought in the country's southeast.

Local utility Light will lift high tension tariffs 19.46% and low tension rates 19.11%, power regulator Aneel said in a statement on Tuesday.

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The change will affect 3.7mn consumers in 31 municipalities across Rio de Janeiro state from Friday.

The price hike comes amid soaring wholesale energy costs in Brazil as costly backup thermoelectric plants compensate for dwindling hydropower output.

Reservoirs in Brazil's midwest and southeast ended October below 20% capacity - their lowest level since 2000, according to grid operator ONS.

The country's dependence on thermal plants has prompted fears the country is on the verge of energy rationing for the first time since 2001.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.