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Energy price hikes temporary, Rousseff says

President Dilma Rousseff said on Friday (Feb 27) that the rises in electric energy prices have been brought about by the drought currently facing the country, and are temporary. They derive from replacing the hydroelectric with thermal and biomass energy, whose raw material demand further costs, she argues.

“You only resort to the costlier thermal energy when you need to, as we do now.

Those hikes in energy prices are temporary, and arise from the fact that the country is facing the most severe shortage of water of the past hundred years,” she explained. According to the president, hydroelectric energy is the cheapest form of energy, since the water used in it is no paid, unlike gas, coal, or biomass.

The president spoke in the city of Santa Vitória do Palmar, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul,  during the inauguration of the 250-megawatt Geribatu Wind Park. She said that the present drought will not bring along with it “any serious or more serious problem in the electric energy arena. It won’t, because we’re equipped with a whole security system. This doesn’t mean we’ll stop using energy rationally and waste it like crazy,” she argued.

In her view, the government’s role is to ensure Brazil’s energy supply. Citizens, on their part, must collaborate by not wasting energy. “Wastage should be brought down to zero. Diversifying the source and reducing wastage to zero are the key to the country’s security. […] There’s no reason to keep the fridge open or leave the shower running if you’re not using them. Energy production is too expensive to be squandered away.”

The Geribatu Wind Park will serve 1.5 million people. Apart from the transmission systems, $730 million have been invested in the enterprise in the form of public and private resources. Along with the Chuí and the Hermenegildo wind parks, the Geribatu is to be part of the Campos Neutrais Wind Complex, the largest of its kind in Latin America.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

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