Brazil Says It Has Power to Spare Through 2009

The Brazilian government has invested US$ 6.21 billion (14 billion reais) in electric power plants over the last 30 months, according to MaurÀ­cio Tolmasquim, president of the Energy Research Company (EPE).

"Brazil’s position is one of tranquility with respect to the energy situation, and there is currently sufficient spare electric capacity in the country to meet the growth in demand through 2009," he affirms. "Even with average economic growth on the order of 3.5% in the coming years."

The EPE is a government enterprise created by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in the area of electric energy planning.

Tolmasquim was interviewed by the Agência Brasil to respond to a comment made by the physicist Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, former president of Eletrobrás (the holding company in the electric sector).

According to Pinguelli, if no new investments are made in energy generation, the country runs the risk of having to impose rationing in 2008.

Tolmasquim, on the other hand, believes that the existing power plants, together with those that are under construction, are adequate to meet the demand for energy through 2009.

"We shall only need new power plants beginning in 2010, and this is already being taken care of through the auctions that will take place in December for the construction of new electric power plants," he affirms.

According to Tolmasquim, former executive secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the EPE operates on the assumption that annual energy demand will increase around 5.5%.

"Which is a reasonable hypothesis. Right now there is an energy surplus that will allow this demand to be met. Clearly, taking into account the plants that are under construction as well."

Agência Brasil

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