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Brazil power distributors: Hydro restrictions boost power price

The head of Brazil’s electricity distributors association says restrictions on the development of hydroelectric projects are pushing up the cost of electricity in Brazil.

President Luiz Carlos Silveira Guimaraes of Associacao Brasileira de Distribuidores de Energia Eletrica (Abradee) said June 16, 2009, that difficulties in building hydro projects are causing a shortage of energy, making power more expensive, state-run Agencia Brasil reported.

“Then, when approved, they have the cost of mitigating environmental impact, which is fair,” Guimaraes said.

The official said another factor that restricts electricity supply is the requirement that many new hydro projects be built without reservoirs.

“The plants without reservoirs generate much less and this makes them more expensive,” he said.

Nevertheless, Guimaraes dismissed the possibility of electricity blackouts in the coming years thanks to Brazil’s energy planning agency, Empresa de Planejamento Energetico. He said the electricity system is more robust and even has thermal power plants, which, while also increasing power prices, keep the power from failing.

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