According to the government, the worst rainfall deficit in nearly a century has led to a reduction in electricity production. It also jeopardizes the harvest and even the recovery of the Brazilian economy.
The drought in Brazil that lasted for several months has caused many concerns. It threatens the country’s high dependence on hydropower stations for power supply, increases energy costs, and risks endangering agricultural production and economic recovery.
The Brazilian government estimates that the lack of rainfall in the southeast and midwest of the country is the worst in nearly a century. And this situation is difficult to improve, the southern winter is characterized by very little rainfall in these areas.
In southern Brazil, this drought is associated with La Niña climate phenomenon, Pedro Luis Cortez, professor at the Institute of Energy and Environment at the University of São Paulo, explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP). It is active from September to early May, and may even resume when the rainy season starts normally at the end of September. “In fact, we will have a dry season of one and a half or two years”, Forecast researchers. Regarding the situation in central and western Brazil, Mr. Cortez pointed out that due to insufficient rainfall in the past ten years, “Deforestation in the Amazon, which reduces the humidity in the atmosphere”, A problem that can be “Chronic”.
The first consequence of this phenomenon is that the drought has affected the operation of the hydropower sector, which contributes 63.8% to Brazil’s power production potential, most of which are located in southern and central western Brazil.
according to’National Power System Operator (ONS), the average water level of the reservoirs of these factories dropped to 32% at the end of May, which is the most serious level since the water crisis in 2015, affecting their energy production capacity in the coming months. 1Yes June,National Water Authority (ANA) Order until November “The severe situation of water scarcity” In the Paraná Basin, this is the region with the highest hydropower potential in the country. This will allow it to temporarily modify the water withdrawal rules. ” first of all”, Specify the resolution of ANA, “Necessity of Restriction” For irrigation and human consumption “No plan”.
But in order to protect its reserves, the power sector hopes to relax the minimum flow rules for dams, which may have a negative impact on other resource uses, such as river transportation or irrigation. In order to save the reservoir and avoid large-scale power outages or rations like 2001, Brazilians still have fresh memories, and the government has begun to collect available thermal power stations.However, according to Pedro Luiz Côrtes (Pedro Luiz Côrtes), there is an urgent need to increase people’s sensitivity. These thermal power plants are “Secondary Source” :
“Even if other sources of electricity are added, such as growing wind farms, if energy consumption increases significantly with the recovery of economic activity, it will be difficult for them to compensate for hydropower plants.”
In any case, Brazilians will feel the impact of the crisis in their investment portfolio: due to the high operating costs of thermal power plants,National Electricity and Energy Administration (Aneel) After the first adjustment in May, the highest special tariff in June was triggered, with an additional tax of 6.24 reais (1 euro) for every 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed.
Another consequence is that drought has also affected important agricultural areas and threatened sugarcane, coffee, oranges, corn and soybean crops, putting pressure on prices. Economist André Braz warned that poultry and pork fed with grain and oilseed rations should also cost more. Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV). As far as the industry is concerned, “Already affected by rising commodity prices, energy issues pose an additional challenge”, The expert added.
Consulting firm MB Associados now predicts that the Consumer Price Index (IPCA) will rise by 5.8% this year, which is higher than the upper limit set by the government. This inflationary pressure may cause the central bank to raise interest rates again.