Country must increase energy supply by 8% to avoid blackouts, ONS says

The risk of blackout could become a reality if the country does not increase its energy supply from September. Photo: Caio Coronel / Itaipu

The technical note published by the National Electricity System Operator (ONS) warns of the need to increase energy supply to ensure the country’s supply from September. The additional production is classified “must have” by the ONS and should be at least 5.5 average gigawatts (GWmed) until November to avoid the risk of blackout in the midst of the water crisis.

In the press release published this Wednesday (25), the ONS is updating the information on the conditions of service of the National Interconnected Network (SIN) after having observed an inflow (or water inflow to the reservoirs) lower than what was previously planned, mainly in the South region. According to the National Operator, the rains having not been confirmed, the volume of water observed in 2021 was lower than that verified in 2020 (and which was used as a parameter for the first calculations on the supply).

This means even less water than expected in the reservoirs and highlights the need for more measures to meet demand. Without an increase in energy supply, the ONS recalls that the country should arrive at the end of the dry period (in October) with “insufficient resources to serve the energy market”, even with a complete thermal dispatch and the adoption of less strict criteria for the transfer of energy from the North / Northeast to the Southeast / Midwest.

In practice, the country would need to increase its energy supply by 8.1% to reach the supplement indicated on the basis of average production data in 2021, which was 67.5 GW until August (composed by the sum of the total produced regardless of the source: hydroelectric, thermal, wind and solar).

Reducing consumption is one of the ways to reduce the risk of blackouts

This increase can come from additional production and new governance measures, but also from reduced consumption, based on savings measures to curb demand.

With the aim of making the service feasible and avoiding a power outage, the ONS made a series of recommendations, ranging from postponing scheduled maintenance to power plants and importing more energy from Argentina and Uruguay, to the resolution of the legal problems which currently exist. prevent the availability of fuels for thermal power plants with outstanding issues with the authorities.

In addition to end-of-offer actions, the operator also indicates the need for progress to implement the Voluntary Demand Response (RVD) program, intended for large consumers, and actions to encourage the population to voluntarily reduce their consumption. .

Voluntary rationing measures have been highlighted by the federal government and will offer financial compensation to consumers who reduce their energy consumption. The idea is to reward those who help balance the equation, removing the risk of shortages, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The additional offer keeps the electricity bill more expensive

The “significant deterioration” of the horizon of the Brazilian electricity sector has been observed recently, but the current water crisis promises to extend beyond 2021, not only with the risk of consequences for the supply itself. same, but also for the price.

With the widespread activation of thermal power plants – used to prevent the complete emptying of hydroelectric reservoirs – the energy bill is expected to remain at red flag level 2 for the next few months and it is still expected that the additional amount may increase. The National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) decides on the new level.

In hearing in the Senate this Thursday (26), the Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes declared that the tariff flag in Brazil should go up. “We have to face the crisis. We’re going to have to raise the flag. I will ask the governors not to go up automatically [o ICMS, cobrado na conta de luz]. They end up making money on top of the crisis, ”he said. Later, at an XP Investimentos event, the minister suggested “moderation” in increasing the prices of brands. “Better to raise the flag a little longer than a lot for three months,” he said.

The day before, Guedes had minimized the water crisis. “What’s the problem with energy getting a little more expensive because it rained less,” he asked. On Thursday, the minister said his statement was taken out of context and attributed the fact to anticipation of the political campaign. was a call, I say in a tone of exhortation. But they always falsify the stories and try to destroy my reputation. They distort the meaning of words, “he lamented.

“The water crisis is serious and has been produced over the last 10, 15 years by a chaotic system. And that’s one more challenge. The ‘and so’ was in this sense, let’s face this crisis. “said Guedes.

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