How is the Brazilian electrical matrix formed?

Como é formada a matriz elétrica brasileira?

How is the Brazilian electrical matrix formed? See the latest official data on its composition and what the prospects are for the future.

Initially, it is essential to understand the difference between energy matrix and electrical matrix. The first covers all sources available in a country, state or the world that meet the demand for total energy generation. The second consists only of the set of sources available to generate electricity, whether for homes, industries or other institutions.

According to the latest report by the Energy Research Company (EPE), the Brazilian electricity matrix is ​​composed of hydraulic sources, natural gas, wind, biomass, coal and derivatives, solar, oil derivatives, nuclear and imported electricity. Until now, the hydraulic source is the main responsible for the generation of electric energy in the country, with about 58% of participation. However, other renewable alternatives are gaining more and more prominence in the generation of electricity, due to accessibility, new technologies and increased government incentives.

See, below, what is the current scenario of the Brazilian electricity matrix.

Overview of the Brazilian electricity matrix

Historically, Brazil has always occupied a prominent place in terms of the use of renewable sources compared to other countries. This characteristic is mainly due to the territorial extension, which offers several options for generating electricity. Currently, hydroelectric plants continue to supply a large part of this demand in the country, however, their share has been decreasing over the years.

According to the report by the Global Electricity Review, in the last 20 years, energy dependence on hydraulics has decreased by about 30%. This gradual reduction is mainly due to the increase in periods of water scarcity, due to climate change, which pressured the increase in the exploration of other alternatives available in the country. In addition to the geographic limit that the country has reached in building and developing new hydroelectric plants.

Even so, it is noted that the tendency is to increasingly reduce dependence on water for energy generation. According to the EPE’s 2022 summary report, the installed capacity in 2021, that is, the capacity that the country has to generate energy, showed an increase of 3.9% compared to 2020, with highlights for wind and solar with an increase of 21.2% and 40.9% respectively. Even if we consider distributed micro and mini-generation, photovoltaic solar energy was the main source responsible for the increase of 88.3%.

Recent data from the Brazilian electricity matrix

The performance of the Brazilian electricity matrix is ​​closely monitored by the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), which issues reports, until the 15th of each month since June 2021, on the expansion of the electricity generation offer in Brazil. The Monitoring Report on the Expansion of the Electricity Generation Offer (RALIE) contains technical data on all the projects being implemented in the national territory.

From the beginning of 2022 to July, there was an expansion of 3,124 megawatts (MW) in the Brazilian electricity matrix, due to the execution of new projects in 16 states. Of which, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte and Minas Gerais stand out with the increase of 556.02 MW, 521.14 MW and 456.05 MW respectively. In July alone, there was an expansion of 708.78 megawatts in Brazil. Of this total, a large part is attributed to the entry into commercial operation of solar photovoltaic and wind power plants, the former being responsible for about 47% and the latter for 25% of this volume.

Thus, considering that almost 80% of the additional installed capacity in July comes from renewable sources and that, according to the same report, more than 2.4 GW of solar photovoltaic plants are expected to start operating by the end of the year. At the end of 2022, there is a commitment to the search for alternative energy sources, preferably renewable, to preserve the country’s profile as a highlight in the generation of clean energy.

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