Chapter 6: Case study of renewable energy in Brazil
Brazil is the largest (8,514,215.3 sq km, 3,287,357.26 sq miles) and most populous country (190,732,694) of South America and is facing strong economic growth. It is now the largest economy of the region, and it is expanding its presence in world markets. The average expected growth of the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the next 6 years is 5 percent and a reliable energy sector is extremely important to maintain that growth path. Brazil has been using its natural resources to generate renewable energy, mostly with hydropower to generate electricity and its unique sugar cane fuel program (Proálcool) to run vehicles. The high utilization of hydropower limited the contribution of other sources for the electrical base load; thus Brazil is below the world average in use of nuclear, natural gas and coal for electricity production. But with the recent discoveries of large offshore oil deposits,5 Brazil is likely to become one of the largest oil producers in the world, which might cause major changes to the national patterns of electricity generation.
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