Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BRICS Proposal - Brazil

Brazil is the eighth largest energy consumer and tenth largest producer in the world. Nearly half of the country's energy comes from renewable resources compared to an average of less than twenty percent for the rest of the world. This is mainly due to hydroelectric power and biofuels like ethanol, created with sugarcane. This is good for Brazil's economy because the money they would have to spend on importing fuel is saved, and ethanol is also exported to the US and Europe. Rio Grande do Sul, a state south of Brazil has the largest wind power complex in South America, and produces energy for 650,000 people. The country's main source of electricity however, is hydroelectric power. 50% of the energy that Brazil gets from water comes from dams in the Parana river. The Itaipu dam, for example, is the second largest in the world, and produces 17% of Brazil's total energy. Taking this information into account, it is predicted that in 2,035 less than 20% of Brazil's energy will rely on Fossil Fuels. The energy demand is growing, since the population is increasing greatly, and the country's infrastructure is expanding. The government has already started investing on creating more hydroelectric power plants, a goal of 200, and has planned to invest 163 billion reais on infrastructure as part of its growth acceleration.

The best action for the country to take is to use the natural resources available to create renewable energy, which is why the government should keep the plan of building the dams going. This would benefit from the country because it will allow it to become less dependant on imported oil from other countries, and will save money as well. I believe that building 200 dams could be harmful for the country as a total as well, because we need to keep in mind that the infrastructure for the dams is very expensive, periods of low rainfall can cause a problem for energy production, land and habitats can be destroyed and people will have to be dislocated. Brazil should definitely build more dams because water is a renewable source, and the energy we get from it will cause less pollution, and after they're built it's cheap energy. They should also incorporate other natural resources like wind power for example, and can extend the complex in Rio Grande do Sul or other windy regions in the country to get their ever increasing energy demand.

This is an image of the Itaipu hydroelectric power plant in Brazil.

Fuels Growth in BRIC Countries." Global Sherpa. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2014.
"Redirecting." Redirecting. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.
"World Electricity Mix Interactive -- National Geographic." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2014.

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