The future of the Brazilian energy matrix

O futuro da matriz energética brasileira

The future of the Brazilian energy matrix involves diversifying the matrix, as well as attracting new investments in renewables.

With an energy transition underway, the future of the Brazilian matrix is ​​under construction. The energy matrix of a country is a set of sources available to be captured, distributed and used to generate energy. Currently, the world matrix is ​​formed by non-renewable sources, such as oil and coal.

In Brazil, fortunately, the most used sources are renewable, highlighting the hydroelectric plants that are responsible for the supply base. According to the Energy Research Company (EPE), the world energy matrix has 14% of renewable sources while Brazil has 48.3% of renewable sources in its matrix.

How is the energy matrix currently?

Brazil is a privileged country, because its size and conditions facilitate the generation of energy through clean and renewable sources. Because of these factors, the country is already well advanced in the energy transition, having its energy supply made mainly by energy generated in hydroelectric plants (65.2%) followed by biomass (9.1%), wind energy (8.8 %) and natural gas (8.3%).

Although the electrical matrix can still make considerable progress in its diversification, these changes are already taking place. At the beginning of the century, the water source represented 83% of the installed capacity and, in 2020, this value was 65.2%. It is essential that the dependence on a single source decreases, as the country is hostage to weather conditions, such as what happened in 2020 and 2021 with the lack of rain that compromised supply.

The future of the Brazilian energy matrix

The Ten-Year Energy Expansion Plan 2031 (PDE 2031) is an informative document aimed at society as a whole, with an indication of the prospects for future expansion of the energy sector from the government’s perspective on the horizon until 2031.

In this report, the PDE stated that hydroelectric plants will account for less than half of the Brazilian electricity supply by 2031, reaching 46%, also considering the growth of distributed generation. Based on the water scarcity scenario, the report also included the incorporation of lessons learned, which pointed to structural planning solutions. Thus, as the configuration of the generating park changes, new challenges arise to guarantee future supply.

According to the EPE, with this decrease in the role of hydroelectric plants, it is estimated that other renewable sources should gain ground. The forecast is that the share of solar generation will grow from 2% at the end of 2021 to 4% in 2031, while wind generation should increase from 10% to 11% in the period. Self-production of energy and distributed generation, on the other hand, should go from a participation of 8% to 17% in the matrix in ten years.

In addition to these sources, nuclear energy is also expected to grow, from 1% to 2% of the total, with a capacity of 4.39 GW in 2031, due to the start-up of the Angra 3 (RJ) plant and the forecast of a new nuclear power plant.

Thus, according to the plan’s estimates, Brazil should reach an energy generation capacity of 275 gigawatts (GW) in 2031, compared to 200 GW in 2021. The segment should receive R$ 528 billion in the decade, with emphasis on the expansion of the centralized energy generation park. Altogether, it is estimated that the energy sector will require investments of around R$ 3.25 trillion between 2021 and 2031. If you want to know more about investments in renewables, visit the website.