In Brazil, the wind is blowing in a new era of renewable energy



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The Washington Post

Wind is emerging as a prize for energy planners who see the howling gusts that arrive from the east as a way to offset the fresh limits imposed on hydropower.

A string of wind-turbine parks is being erected in the nation’s windiest stretches, in what planners here see as the beginning of an extraordinary transformation. No one expects that wind will outpace dams as the main source of Brazil’s electricity. But the goals remain audacious for a country that projects an annual rise in electricity consumption of up to 5 percent in coming years.

To keep pace with that growth, Brazil’s capacity to produce energy must increase by 50 percent over the next decade, government planners say — in line with a target set by rapidly growing China and even faster than what is projected for Russia and India, two similarly sized, energy-hungry emerging economies.

In Brazil, wind will play a vital role: The aim by 2021 is to have Brazil rely on wind turbines for up to 10 percent of its generating capacity — nearly enough to power São Paulo, South America’s largest city.