Brazil’s population is rapidly approaching two hundred million people, of course anyone can see the sheer size of country can easily accommodate these numbers, but has anyone thought about the strain on the electricity grid? With the Minha Casa Minha Vida housing project set to create 5 million more homes by the end of 2014 and the extra power needed by the World Cup and Olympic stadiums and villages can we expect rolling blackouts of does the Brazilian utility companies have it covered
Brazil has one of the highest levels of electricity, in terms of public availability, in the whole of Latin America. In fact, ways of measuring this do vary but some estimated put it on a par with Chile at joint first. About 97% of households in both countries have access to a reliable electricity supply.
Despite massive increases in generation and capacity in recent years, Brazil still has to import a certain (but small) proportion of its electricity, reckoned to be about five per cent and mostly coming from Argentina.
In terms of nationally-generated power, the country provides over 80% of it from renewable sources. The vast majority of this comes from hydro-electric plants, reliant on the country’s huge waterways network. On the face of it there is more than enough of this resource but there can be problems with it, as explained below. It’s interesting to note though, that over a quarter of the ‘hydro’ power comes from just one of the six hundred plants and installations that deal with it, the massive facility linked to the Itaipu dam on the Parana River next to Paraguay.
Brazil is generally pleased with the performance of the hydro electric schemes but is also investing in other renewable sources, albeit on a small scale. In addition, gas and oil fired power stations account for nearly 15% and other sources such as nuclear a negligible amount, mostly as viability experiments. However, hydro power is especially vulnerable (of course) to rainfall shortages and this can be a big problem in the semi-drought years which sometimes occur, such as in 2002.
Expanding demand from Industry and the residential sector means that Brazil needs to expand its electricity supply by a steady six or seven percent a year. The Government plans to do this by a slight adjustment in the ‘balance of sources’. Only about half of the necessary increase will come from hydro while 30 percent will be from biomass and wind and twenty percent or so from natural gas, a sector that has been steadily encouraged in recent years.
The proportions of electricity consumption in the Country are rather unequal. The highest element of demand is the residential one which draws 34% of available power. Next is the industrial sector which uses almost exactly a quarter of electricity. The commercial world of offices, shops, etc. uses 22 per cent and Public sector facilities and rural uses total 19% between them.
Brazil is Booming and for this reason more and more investors are turning to Brazil looking for safe and secure ways to invest in its growing economy. A popular choice for investors has always been property and with the success of the governments Minha Casa Minha Vida social housing programme there has never been a better time to get involved, the one question is how? Well, one developer building minha casa minha vida homes is the UK basd developer EcoHouse who also offer investors the chance to get in on the action with as little as £23,000, From their investment the investor can receive up to 20% ROI in around 12 Months making the investment very popular with both time served and novice investors alike
Find out more about EcoHouse Group’s minha casa minha vida investments by visiting the EcoHouse Group website ecohousegroup.com