Rains bring relief to Brazil power sector

2013-01-15 19:54
Authorities issued an alert in Brazil's southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro as they expect more rain in the coming days. (Bruno Monteiro/HO, AFP)

Authorities issued an alert in Brazil's southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro as they expect more rain in the coming days. (Bruno Monteiro/HO, AFP)

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Brasilia - Recent rains have brought some relief to the depleted reservoirs of Brazil's hydroelectric plants but have done little to dispel concerns over the country's ability to fulfil its energy demands for the year.

A hotter than usual summer and lack of rain have caused water levels at hydroelectric dams in most of the country to drop to a third of their capacity. The levels are similar to those registered in 2001, when rationing was imposed and blackouts occurred.

The government has said Brazil will not resort to energy rationing because the country has thermal power plants that can be activated.

Claudio Sales, president of Instituto Ascende, an energy analysis group, says the situation is "worrisome because water levels at the reservoirs remain very low".

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