By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian Committee for the Monitoring of the Electric Sector (CMSE) decided on Friday to put into operation the more expensive thermoelectric plants to help supply the country’s energy needs. The decision comes after forecast of greater economic activity and higher temperatures in the coming months.
“Our assessments are that the rate of growth of the demand, which is a consequence of the behavior of the GDP and also of the [high] temperature, should be 3,8 percent now in 2019,” said director general of the National Electric System Operator (ONS), Luiz Eduardo Barata.
According to the CMSE committee, the measure was also taken due to the current scarcity of rainfall, the levels of hydroelectric reservoirs that are below the historical average for the period and taking into account ‘weather forecasts for the next few days’.
The committee, which is responsible for monitoring supply conditions and attending to the country’s electricity market, also decided that the ONS should consider purchasing energy from Uruguay and Argentina.
According to the ONS although there are forecasts of improvement of rainfall conditions in the Southeast/Midwest and in the Northern regions in February, in January of 2019, the country registered a scenario of low rainfall, especially in the Southeast and Center-West regions.
“The forecasts for the next days indicate the increase of precipitation, but the soil remains dry and the response in terms of flow will depend on the permanence of rainfall,” stated the report.
The ONS forecasts a seven percent increase in electricity demand for the National Interconnected System (SIN) this month, compared to February of 2018.