Rio Grande do Sul has more than 300 projects in operation, responsible for generating 29,037 GWh in 2021, according to information from the National Energy Balance (Aneel).
The supply of energy in the State comes from hydroelectric power plants, from fuel oil, natural gas and coal-fired thermoelectric plants, and from alternative energy sources such as wind and small thermo and hydroelectric plants. Rio Grande do Sul has also been investing in the development of biofuels such as biodiesel, ethanol and biogas. In 2015, the State already had ninebiodiesel production plants, with annual production of 606 million liters and annual nominal capacity to produce 1,363 million liters, being the largest national producer (ANP, 2015).
The distribution of electricity is mainly carried out by two large concessionaires: Grupo Equatorial Energia (CEEE-D) and Rio Grande Energia S.A. (GER). There are also five small concessionaires and 15 rural electrification cooperatives.
Rio Grande do Sul is the Brazilian state with the largest number of thermoelectric plants – four of the 13 plants installed in the country, being the largest national coal producer (50.5% of the total). Nearly 90% of Brazil’s coal reserves are in the state, accounting for 28 billion tons. Brazil’s largest coal deposit is in the city of Candiota, 38% of the country’s deposits. The municipality is home to Presidente Médici (446 MW) and Candiota III (350 MW) plants, and Pampa Sul (340 MW) plant is under construction. The two other plants are located in Charqueadas (72 MW) and São Jerônimo (20 MW).
The State is promoting the development of clean coal technologies to make the fuel more commercially viable, by searching processes other than direct burning of coal in termal plants to generate electricity. Another priority concerns the potential use of coal from Rio Grande do Sul in the carbochemical industry.
● Wind Farms
RS is one of the Brazilian states with the highest potential for wind energy, having pioneered the implementation of this energy matrix in the country by inaugurating Parque de Osório in 2006. The potential for wind energy in Rio Grande do Sul is estimated at 115 GW for the height of 100 meters (Wind Atlas Rio Grande do Sul, 2014). Currently, RS ranks fifth among Brazilian states, with 830 turbines installed in 81 parks in operation, in addition to 3 new parks under construction. According to the National Energy Balance, in 2021 the energy source was responsible for the generation of 5,850 GWh (19% of the state energy consumption recorded in the same period). The Rio Grande do Sul Capacity Factor, an indicator that demonstrates the relationship between real and potential production, is higher than the global average (35.7% compared to 34%).
In addition, there is a good infrastructure of electricity transmission and distribution networks and great ease of connection in regions with greater wind potential. It also presents good interconnection between the electrical transmission systems of the South and Southeast regions.