In 2023, Brazil's electricity consumption showcases a significant approach towards low-carbon sources. Hydropower heads the pack with 442 TWh, followed by wind and solar at approximately 94 and 50 TWh respectively. Clean nuclear energy contributes a modest 14.5 TWh. Contrasted with fossil fuel sources, which include gas (35 TWh), coal (around 8 TWh), and biofuels (approximately 9 TWh), clearly low-carbon energy dominates Brazil's electricity generation. However, the country's electricity generation per individual, based on these figures, falls below the global average of 410 watts per person. This could result in supply constraints during times of peak demand, hindering economic production and personal comfort.
The expansion of Brazil's wind energy sector could contribute to an increase in low-carbon electricity generation. This approach has been proven effective in countries such as the People's Republic of China and the United States, where wind energy generates 941 TWh and 423 TWh respectively. Other countries from which Brazil could gain insights include France, known for its robust nuclear energy that generates 319 TWh of power, as well as the People's Republic of China and India's noteworthy solar power generation, which stands at 531 TWh and 119 TWh respectively. Enhancing the balance of wind, solar and nuclear capacity could boost Brazil's ability to meet rising electricity demands with low-carbon sources.
The history of low-carbon electricity in Brazil exhibits a clear focus on hydropower. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there were steady increases in hydropower generation, with notable leaps forward in 1984 and 2007. However, the early 2000s saw a significant dip, with a deep cut in 2001 followed by modest rebound in subsequent years. The last decade was marked by mixed fortunes for hydropower, as it experienced both increases and decreases. Recently, Brazil has diversified its low-carbon energy sources with wind and solar. Notably, the wind sector saw a significant increase in 2021, and solar energy made an impressive leap in 2023, surmounting the hydropower's decline the same year.