InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute Issues Statement on Brazil's Historic Decision to End Mega-Dam Construction in the Amazon and Accelerate Shift to Wind and Solar

05 Jan 2018

The Brazilian government announced that it would end construction of mega-dams in the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, according to news reports (O GloboMongabay).

For years, mega-dams in the Amazon have drawn intense opposition from Indigenous peoples, energy and economic experts, social and environmental organizations, and millions of citizens in Brazil and globally. 

In particular, campaigns against the Belo Monte and São Luiz do Tapajós mega-dams mobilized a broad coalition of Indigenous communities and civil society organizations, who urged the Brazilian government to develop the country's wind and solar resources and invest in energy efficiency instead of funding mega-dams in the Amazon. Paulo Pedrosa, Brazil's Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, acknowledged the impact of this societal resistance, as well as the high costs and risks of mega-dams, in statements to O Globo

In addition, Brazil's world-class wind and solar resources, the falling costs of wind and solar technologies, and advances in integrating renewable energy made a compelling economic case for a transition away from new mega-dams toward other sources of energy, according to the InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute. For example, solar projects dominated the December 18, 2017, Brazil national power auction, and Brazil's most recent national energy plan projects more than 40,000 megawatts of wind and solar will be installed by 2026, a significant increase over prior projections. With this week's announcement, the national energy matrix is expected to continue to change by integrating more wind and solar power, small hydroelectric, biomass, and decentralized generation.

Heather Rosmarin, Executive Director of the InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute, issued the following statement: 

"We congratulate the government of Brazil on this historic decision to end mega-dam construction in the Amazon, and we are profoundly grateful to the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon and the citizens of Brazil for years of dedicated work to protect the Amazon and advance clean, renewable, and affordable energy solutions." 

InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute | http://www.cleanenergyamericas.org