Brazil is the world's second largest hydropower producer by installed capacity and has the largest installed hydropower capacity in South America, with 60 per cent of the continent’s total capacity.
Large hydropower remains the major source of electricity supply, with wind and solar representing about 11 per cent.
Brazil has been suffering drought conditions for many years, and 2021 saw its worst drought in 91 years. The consequences of this are significant, as the country relies on hydropower reservoirs to generate over 60 per cent of its electricity.
In 2021, Brazil introduced a "water scarcity" electrical rate, increased energy imports from Argentina and Uruguay, accelerated infrastructure projects that can distribute power from the less-affected north-east to the south, and created a national committee that can swiftly reverse regional rules to optimise power and water usage. It also increased generation from gas-fired plants to compensate and stabilise electricity prices.
Brazil also plans to add more solar to its energy mix, including the 15-hectare floating solar plant at the Batalha hydropower plant, which will have an installed capacity of 30 MW. This project is currently in the permitting phase and is expected to be commissioned in 2022.
This country profile is featured in the 2022 Hydropower Status Report. Download the report: hydropower.org/statusreport