With more than a century of use and with a large installed capacity, the electric energy sector in Brazil has a complex network of transmission lines that runs through Brazil, allowing a family’s refrigerator in the interior of São Paulo to work with energy generated by a hydroelectric plant in the north of the country. Through an electromagnetic system, the movement of turbines turned by the force of the flow of water is transformed into energy.
Through more than 150,000 km of transmission lines in the National Integrated System – SIN, the ONS (National Electric System Operator) organizes the shipment of energy according to the demands of consumer centers.
The combination of energy from the running waters of rivers and winds makes the Brazilian electrical matrix considered one of the cleanest, giving Brazil an important contribution to the mitigation of climate change.
The growth and modernization of the Brazilian economy in recent decades has generated an enormous and systematic increase in demand for electric power, especially in large urban areas and in predominantly industrial regions.
In Brazil, the most used energy sources are renewable. With great emphasis on hydroelectric power, the main base of our energy matrix. According to 2019 data from the National Interactive Energy Balance, 64.9% of the energy consumed in Brazil comes from a hydraulic source.
Brazil uses 83% of renewable sources for energy production, while the world average is 25%. In addition, to more sustainability, this also generates lower operating costs for plants that choose renewable energy.
In addition to hydropower, Brazil’s energy matrix is also divided into natural gas (9.3%), wind (8.6%), biomass (8.4%), coal and derivatives (3.3%), nuclear (2.5%), petroleum derivatives (2.0%), and solar (1.0%).
The country has great potential for producing renewable energy due to climate, agriculture, and water distribution. In recent years, wind and solar energy have grown, especially in the northeast. Leaving the Brazilian energy matrix increasingly clean.
The Energy Path in Brazil
Before being transformed into electricity, energy travels a long way, crosses hundreds of kilometers of transmission lines, and undergoes many changes.
The interconnection of electrical systems, through the transmission grid, provides for the transfer of energy between subsystems, allows for synergistic gains, and explores the diversity between the hydrological regimes of the basins. The integration of generation and transmission resources makes it possible to serve the market safely and economically.
The Brazilian electricity sector is divided into generation, transmission, and distribution. The generators produce the energy, which will be transported by the transmission companies from the point of generation to consumer centers, where the distributors are responsible for delivering it to the consumers’ homes. There are also traders, and companies authorized to buy and sell energy for free to consumers (generally consumers who need more energy).
Performance in 2021 – Energy: Highest High in 50 Years
In Brazil, the energy sector emitted 435 million tons of CO2 equivalent in 2021 against 387 million in 2020, representing a 17.9% increase in the country’s total emissions.
“Proportionally, emissions exploded because consumption fell in 2020 because of Covid. Last year, energy consumption returned to 2014 levels”, says Felipe Barcellos, project analyst at the Energy and Environment Institute – IEMA, the organization responsible for energy calculations and industrial processes at SEEG – Gas Emission Estimation System of the Climate Observatory’s Greenhouse Effect, which annually discloses the country’s total performance.
The rise in energy and industry is due to a number of factors. One of them is the resumption of the economy after the most serious phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this case, Brazil followed the global trend: a report by UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) released last Thursday (27/10) showed that, after a 4.7% drop in 2020, the year at the peak of the pandemic, world emissions rose rapidly again in 2021 and may have beaten the all-time high of 2019.
Another factor was the 2021 water crisis, resulting from the worst drought in nine decades in the Center-South of the country, which had a decisive contribution to this performance. It dried up the hydroelectric plants and forced the activation of thermoelectric plants, which the government made permanent. This reduced the share of renewable energies in the national electricity matrix. While electricity consumption increased by 4%, emissions from electricity generation grew by 46%.
The unusual performance due to a combination of factors (pandemic, economic recovery, and water crisis), can be altered.
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Carlos de Oliveira