“Brazil has been very proactive in renewable sources, both wind and solar, and has an ambitious programme to increase the share of wind in its energy grid”, points out the Secretary of Energy of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Fábio Lopes Alves.
In 2016 the country expanded its wind power installed capacity by 2,014 Megawatts, what placed the country in 5th in the world growth ranking for the year. Such production represented an increase of 53.4 percent in wind last year compared to 2015.
In terms of full installed capacity Brazil is already the ninth in the world ranking of total wind capacity, with 10,740 MW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), what makes Brazil the leading wind power producer in Latin America.
Today, over 7% of all power produced in Brazil is from wind sources, said secretary Lopes Alves, remarking that wind has already reached a point in which it has become a cheaper than power generated from hydroelectric plants.
Benefitting from strong wind seasons, the Brazilian Northeast region remains Brazil’s largest producer of wind power. The state of Rio Grande do Norte was the leading producer of wind in Brazil in 2016. The state’s plants produced 1,206 MW in the year, with a 50 percent increase compared to 2015.
“Today, half the energy produced in the Northeast comes from wind, and the trend is for that number to grow,” Alves noted. “The region has very favourable wind conditions, which is why it has the country’s largest installed capacity for solar and wind farms today”. He also pointed out that more wind farms are likely to be accompanied by more solar projects, thus complementing the supply of renewable power sources.
In 2015, Brazil signed an international commitment during COP 21 to expand the share of non-hydropower renewables in the total energy grid to between 28% and 33%, and to expand the domestic use of non-fossil energy sources to at least 23% by 2030, including through increasing the share of wind, biomass and solar.