Bloomberg News

Brazil May Establish State-Owned Renewable-Energy Company

November 09, 2011

(Updates with Siqueira’s comments in fourth paragraph.)

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian lawmakers may propose a government-owned company to develop renewable-energy projects that have been sidelined by investors because of their high costs, said Representative Joao Carlos Siqueira.

The company may initially focus on solar projects and small ethanol plants, with daily output of as much as 10,000 liters (2,600 gallons), Siqueira, president of the lower house’s Permanent Subcommittee for the Development of Alternative Renewable Energy, said today in a telephone interview. He represents Minas Gerais for the Workers’ Party.

Renewable energy is popular in Brazil although investors have steered clear of more expensive technologies such as solar power, Siqueira said. The nation gets more than two-thirds of its electricity from large dams and wind farms are spreading quickly.

“Some renewable energies in Brazil aren’t viable without government supports and subsidies,” he said. “This company will prioritize different technologies for different states depending on what resources are available.”

The company will do for renewable energy what Rio de Janeiro-based state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA does for fossil fuels, according to Siqueira, who’s also known as Padre Joao.

Siqueira’s subcommittee, which may propose the new government-run commercial entity in the first half of next year, will need approval from the lower house’s Mines and Energy Committee, under which it operates, before a measure would be adopted by the government or voted on by Congress, he said.

Brazil has 180 large hydroelectric dams operating with 78,142 megawatts of capacity, which account for 67 percent of what’s online, according to the website of Brasilia-based electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica. It has erected 63 wind farms, most of which started producing electricity in the last three years, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.

--Editors: Charles Siler, Jasmina Kelemen

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephan Nielsen in Sao Paulo at snielsen8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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