Drought feeds hydropower worries in Brazil


Brazil’s plans to continue banking heavily on hydropower, which provides 75% of the country’s electricity, are raising questions. That’s partly because the plans call for construction of more dams in the Amazon region, stirring fears of environmental problems ranging from hydrological disruptions to influxes of settlers and attendant deforestation. But there’s also concern about the dependability of hydropower amid increasingly extreme weather associated with climate change. The latter worry has been top of mind during the current November-through-April rainy season. While precipitation has been intense in western Brazil, there has been a record scarcity of rainfall in the southeastern and central-western regions, which account for 70% of Brazil’s hydropower output. As reservoir levels have fallen, fears of power shortages and energy rationing... [Log in to read more]

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