Brazil’s Wind Power Auction Spurs More Clean Energy Development

by Dave

Renewable Energy World

While the United Nations Climate Conference (COP15) was taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, Brazil’s National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) held the country’s first ever wind-only energy auction. On December 14, around 1,800 megawatts (MW) were contracted with energy from 71 wind power plants scheduled to be delivered beginning July 1, 2012. The wind power auction has reinforced Brazil’s success in generating electric energy from renewable sources, which currently represent 85.4% of the country’s electricity supply, according to preliminary data from the 2009 National Energy Balance, conducted by the Energy Research Corporation (EPE).

[In 2002], the government created the Program for Incentive of Alternative Electric Energy Sources (Proinfa) to encourage the use of other renewable sources, such as wind power, biomass, and Small Hydroelectric Power Stations (PCHs). Such stations use hydropower, the flagship of Brazil’s energy matrix, which comprises around three-quarters of Brazil’s installed energy capacity.

Since the inception of Proinfa, Brazil’s wind energy production has escalated from 22 MW in 2003 to 602 MW in 2009, as part of 36 private projects. Another 10 projects are under construction, with a capacity of 256.4 MW, and 45 additional projects have been approved be ANEEL with an estimated potential of 2,139.7 MW.

Developing these wind power sources in Brazil is helping the country to meet its strategic objectives of enhancing energy security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs. The potential for this type of power generation in Brazil could reach up to 145,000 MW, according to the 2001 Brazilian Wind Power Potential Report by the Electric Energy Research Center (Cepel).