Brazil needs 50GW grid expansion by 2024 - report

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Stagnant industrial activity in Brazil is unlikely to impact the country's need to expand grid capacity 5GW a year, according to the latest BNamericas Intelligence Series.

The electric power outlook report, titled Natural Gas, Renewable Power Gain Importance in 2015, said Brazil must increase installed power capacity 38% to 180GW by 2024 if it is to meet future demand.

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The prediction comes despite Brazil's economy having slipped into recession in July after two quarters of negative growth, prompting the government to revise down its 2015 power consumption forecast.

"The longer-term forecasts still imply annual demand growth of nearly 4%, which would entail an additional 5GW of new capacity each year," the report said. "Likewise, most forecasts predict that economy, after this year's dip, will start to rebound in 2015."

Brazil's federal energy planning company EPE expects new generation investments to reach 143bn reais (US$56bn) by 2023, with an additional 80bn reais in already contracted or authorized projects.

About 70bn reais is expected to come from solar, wind, biomass and run-of-the-river hydropower projects.

Despite its focus on renewable sources, Brazil is expected to continue to rely on thermoelectric plants – particularly in times of low rainfall.

EPE expects investments of 16bn reais in new thermopower capacity over the next decade.

"To firm up the system, Brazil in the coming years will likely focus on renovating and expanding its natural gas-fired plants, as well as building gas pipelines and associated infrastructure, the report added.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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