Brazil expects Sao Paulo’s power demand to rise 3.2 % annually

Aug 01, 2006 02:00 AM

The Sao Paulo state energy department forecasts power demand is likely to grow 3.2 % a year through 2016, state energy secretary Armando Shalders said at the 7th power business summit in Sao Paulo. The state government has unveiled the first long-term plan in more than 10 years, he said, pointing out the last plan was drawn up 1992 but not made public.
"This time we decided to consult society at large," he said, adding it took more than a year to carry out the basic study and conduct public hearings.

The study projects annual GDP growth for the state of 3.5 %. Sao Paulo is Brazil's largest and most industrialized state, accounting for roughly a third of the country's GDP. By comparison, the federal government's 10-year plan for Brazil's power sector pegs economic growth at 4 % a year and power demand at 5.1 %.
In Sao Paulo, projected demand will be supplied mostly through small decentralized power projects. Existing plants have already taken up Sao Paulo's hydro potential.

Further, Sao Paulo will have to rely on co-generation projects that use natural gas or biomass to increase capacity. Diesel-fired plants and small-scale hydro projects can play a complementary role, Shalders said. A third option for the state is to increase power efficiency programs that could reduce demand and make better use of existing capacity.
"People often look at this as a luxury or as a emergency measure, but this has serious potential to increase the power available in the state," he said.

Shalders said power efficiency programs could also help co-generation projects. While industries and large businesses that use steam could build co-generators to supply power, sugar ethanol producers -- one of the state's largest industries -- could benefit by burning bagasse produced at mills.
The potential is much larger than the 247 existing co-generation plants in the state, he added.

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