Brazil to invest over $5 billion in renewable energy

In Brazil a recently held biomass, wind and hydroelectric auction is expected to encourage $5.52 billion (€4.32 billion) in investments in alternative energies in the region.

The auction came as the Brazilian government aims to further diversify its clean energy matrix. It contracted power from biomass plants, 89 wind farms and small hydroelectric plants and will add an installed capacity of 2,892.2MW to the national energy matrix. The resulting investments are expected to come primarily from private enterprise.

Brazil’s alternative energy auction was conducted through a process, whereby the government first announced the energy demand stated by distributors to serve the market by 2013, and then electricity generators competed to provide energy to fill that demand at the lowest price.

The result was a significant decrease in energy costs from starting prices, with a 17.41% decrease in energy supplied by biomass-fueled plants to $78.42/MWh. There was also a 19.7% decline in energy from wind farms to $76.25/MWh and a 5.17% decrease in the average trading price of energy supplied by small hydroelectric plants to $83.57/MWh.

Commenting on the auction Nelson Hübner, director of Brazil’s National Electricity Regulatory Agency, said: ‘The results of the energy auction represent a new paradigm in power generation in Brazil because they confirm it is possible to produce wind energy at a price that is competitive with those of thermal plants, which are more polluting.’

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