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Europe’s shortage of natural gas and wind are to blame for soaring electricity prices according to the experts. On the other side of the world, Brazil blames the water crises for its elevated costs.
Around 95% of Brazil’s electricity came from hydroelectric plants in its heyday, however, there has been a decline. Presently, that figure has dropped to below fifty percent. Around 14% of electricity production comes from wind power, 1.5% solar power, some from vegetal coal and firewood and the rest comes from thermoelectric incentives.
Consequently, China’s State Power Investment Corporation who purchased the São Simão hydroelectric plant in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil in 2017, when usage was higher for a whopping R$7.180 billion (approx. US$2.3 billion) must now be feeling the pinch, as the once thriving energy producing business has reduced production levels significantly.
Rain shortages have reduced river levels to insufficient quantities to turn hydroelectric turbines for electricity production. Brazil’s Southern Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam which opened in 1984 is the world’s second-largest operational hydroelectric power plant in terms of installed power at 14GW. Nevertheless, it has felt the force of mother nature and isn't coping to create enough electricity. Certainly, there isn’t enough to meet demands. The world's largest is the Three Gorges Dam Hydropower Station in China that produces 22.5GW.
In 2021, Brazilian consumers have witnessed tariffs increase by up to 50%. Furthermore, Aneel (National Electric Energy Agency) has said that electricity bills will become more expensive, by over 16% in the new year. At this rate, consumers still recovering from the coronavirus epidemic have had their finances stretched to the limit. Many are complaining that even by reducing electricity usage they can’t afford the intensified price tag for electricity.
Since the beginning of the year, the cost for electricity keeps going up. However, they have really spiked in the past few weeks. Since the start of September, wholesale power prices in Germany and France have climbed by 36% and 48%, respectively. They are now hovering at around US$189 (€160) per megawatt hour, a record level. In Britain prices are at a whopping US$532 (£385) up from a few weeks ago.
Fossil fuel has also seen price hikes around the world as barrels of oil have doubled since 2020. There is no point in whining about the magnitude of the situation, and instead it is suggested to look for ways to increase earnings potential which ultimately will help those feeling the burden the most to overcome harsh conditions and stretch forward.
When there is a will there is a way, so what seems bleak today has a rosy path tomorrow. Don't get bogged down. Follow the promising path and a solution will be found around the corner.
Written by Carl Boniface
Soaring (adj) = from the verb to soar / soared (regular), (syn) rising, climbing, spiraling, increasing, elevated, high, sky-high, (ant) plummeting
Bogged down = 1: to cause (something) to sink in wet ground. “The mud bogged down the car.” The car got bogged down in the mud. 2: to become stuck in wet ground. “The car bogged down in the mud. — often used figuratively. “Don’t get bogged down in the situation,” i.e., Don’t allow the situation to upset you.