Brazil Develops Wind + Solar To Offset Drop In Hydropower Output From Drought

National Economy

The population of the Federative Republic of Brazil is approximately 215.60 million people[1]. In 2021, 100 % of the people in this South American country had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Brazil’s economy was ranked 8th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy[4] is dependent on the export of soya beans, iron ore, crude oil, sucrose, beef, and wood pulp.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Brazil signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a 37% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to 2005 levels and a further 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

In 2021, utilities[6] used renewable energy (78.9 %), natural gas (12.2 %), coal (4.2 %), oil (2.4 %), and nuclear energy (2.3 %) to generate electricity in Brazil. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Brazil.

Recent renewable energy developments in Brazil include:

  • 531 MW Solar Project – In July 2022, Norwegian companies Scatec, Equinor and Hydro Rein commenced work on the Mendubim solar project, which is located in northeastern Brazil.
  • 7 MW Wind Project – Norwegian renewable energy company, Statkraft is continuing work on the Ventos de Santa Eugênia onshore wind project. The wind project is located in northeastern Brazil and is scheduled to be completed by June 2023.
  • 260 MW Solar Project – In April, French renewable energy company Voltalia commenced work on the Solar Serra do Mel a project located in northeastern Brazil. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by July 2023.
  • 30 MW Floating Solar Projects – In February 2021, French utility Engie commissioned three floating photovoltaic projects at the Batalha hydropower plant, which is located in central Brazil.
  • 5 MW Floating Solar Project – In January 2020, a floating solar project was commissioned at the 175 MW Sobradinho hydropower plant, which is located in eastern Brazil.


In 2014, the World Bank’s “4 Degree Report,” forecast that severe drought would continue to increase in Brazil, United States, Southern Africa, Southern Europe, and Southeast Asia. Brazil has experienced protracted droughts, as predicted by the World Bank.

In 2020, drought restricted Brazil’s hydropower output, which is the nation’s primary source of electricity. As a result, Brazil’s government implemented widespread power conservation measures.

Brazil is installing utility scale floating solar projects in water reservoirs to offset the shortfall of power during droughts. Brazil is also developing onshore wind, offshore wind, and onshore solar to increase the nation’s power from renewable energy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.


[1] Brazil Population (2022) –  Jul6 6, 2022,

[2] The World Bank Group, Access to Electricity (% of Population – Brazil)

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Brazil

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Brazil: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

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