Brazil wants more wind power

by Antonio Pasolini on December 23, 2009

BAICHENG, CHINA - APRIL 20:  Wind turbines are...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Latin American country known for its pioneer use of sugar cane ethanol now is looking to wind power to expand its renewable energy matrix.

Recently, the country held its first wind-only power auction. At the event, over 1,805 megawatts (MW) of wind power were contracted, at an average selling price of US$ 84.88/MWh. The auction will allow for the building of 71 wind power plants located in five states of the northeastern and southern regions of the country. In the 20 year period in which the contracts will run, the projects are expected to drive investments of over US$ 11.2 billion.

“This auction shows that the price difference between wind and thermoelectric sources of energy is diminishing and today they are closer than ever. It also shows that from both an economic and environmental perspective, wind energy is a viable option for complementing Brazil’s hydraulic generation”, said Mauricio Tolmasquim, president of the Brazilian Energy Research Company, Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE).

According to the country’s Incentive Program for Alternative Electric Energy Sources (Proinfa), wind energy has seen the best growth rate of renewable sources since the program was created in 2002. Between 2004 and 2009 installed wind energy rose from 22 MW to the current 602 MW. Currently Brazil is home to 36 wind power plants.

More wind power news: Oregon to become home to the world’s biggest wind farm, with 845 MW of capacity

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