The World Cup is coming soon, and while there are still two years to go until the country hosts the Olympic games, but Brazil is already charging ahead with development. Energy will play a decisive role in the future of a country that over the last few years has become one of the richest in the world, with its middle and upper-middle classes accounting for half of the population. By the end of the year the number of new billionaires in Brazil is expected to rise to 17,000 and by 2020 the country will become the fifth largest economy in the world, surpassing the United Kingdom and France.
The process of industrialisation that began after the fall of the military regime in 1985 has accelerated drastically over the last decade, but is now slowing down due to social imbalances and the effects on the domestic economy of macro-economic events. In this context growth potential is tied up with energy, both regarding the use of fossil fuels and the development of renewables.
Black and blue gold are the country's historical assets. It has an estimated in 423 trillion m3 of oil fields (more than 80 percent of which offshore) and the world's largest fresh water reserves, 12 percent of the world's total. The abundance of renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role in the diversification and security of supplies in an energy market that is experiencing a growth in demand. And while 80 percent of domestic energy needs are met with hydropower, it's also true that one fifth of this supply comes from the Itaipú dam.
The Enel Group reached 1.2 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2013 and has 6.3 million customers between Ampla and Coelce. It has been active in hydropower since 2006 and counts on 20 small hydro plants in the states of Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Sao Paolo. Moreover, since the country started to focus on renewable energy, Enel Green Power began to play a role as first mover that led it to install more than 160MW of wind power capaicty, with operating plants and facilities that are under construction in the states of Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte. It is also expected to grow in wind power and solar power.