The winds blow hard to become the second largest source of energy in Brazil as of next year, only behind the electricity that is withdrawn from the hydroelectric turbines. Wind farms, which until mid-2010 were seen as “experiments” in the electricity sector, have now entered the supply base in the country, and less than a decade later account for 8.5% of installed capacity in the national territory .
In these months of August and September, a period that has already come to be known as the “harvest of the winds”, the wind farms have beaten records. This is when the gale gains even more strength in the Northeast and South regions of the country, where today 6,600 winters are spread around 534 wind farms.
“With the expansion of projects already contracted, wind farms should exceed thermal generation and biomass by 2019 or by 2020,” says Elbia Gannoum, executive president of the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (Abeeólica).
Today, 64% of the national electric potential comes from hydroelectric turbines. Biomass plants represent a 9.2% share, but wind power plants already account for 8.5% of the matrix and grow at a rate of more than 20% per year, well above the other sources.
In the day to day of consumption, however, the presence of the winds has been superior. It is precisely in the dry season – from April to November, when most of the reservoirs need to be preserved – that the gale gains strength. In recent weeks, an average of 14% of the energy supplying the entire country has been withdrawn from wind towers. A week ago, weathervants sustained no less than 72% of the energy consumed by the entire Northeast Region.
For the government, which has been unable to bid for any major hydroelectric plants for four years because of the strong environmental impact of these projects – especially those planned to be built in the Amazon Region -, wind power has now relieved pressure on supplies and less dependent on the riverbeds.
“It is important to understand, however, that energy sources do not compete with each other, they are complementary. Wind power is there to prove it. This is an opportunity that the country can not give up, “says Eduardo Azevedo, secretary of Planning and Energy Development of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).
The energy generated by the force of the winds has been part of the energy matrix since 1992, with the start of the operation of the first wind turbine in Fernando de Noronha (PE) .The growth of the wind source, however, may face some problems, warns Ricardo Baitelo , coordinator of Climate and Energy of Greenpeace and adviser of the organization A Drop in the Ocean.
“There is already pressure in the government so that the sources of wind and solar generation have reduced their incentives linked to the cost of energy transmission,” says Baitelo. “If this occurs, it can compromise the performance of these sources.”
Newspaper Diario de Pernambuco