Brazil’s potential for generating wind power is estimated at 500 gigawatts (GW), according to the Brazilian Wind Power Association (ABEEólica), sufficient to meet the country’s energy demand three times over. The figure is also three times larger than the country’s current electricity generation, including all available sources, such as hydroelectric power, biomass, natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear power. In December 2018, the installed generation capacity totaled 162.5 GW, according to the National Electricity Agency (Aneel). Of this amount, wind power makes up 14.2 GW, the equivalent of the installed capacity of the massive Itaipu hydroelectric plant and enough to power 22 million households. Energy generated from wind takes fourth place in Brazil’s energy matrix.
The wind potential of 500 GW accounts for only onshore generation, carried out by wind turbines which meet current standards—2 to 3 megawatts (MW) on towers 150 meters high. Wind turbines are used to convert wind energy into electricity. As it happens, the industry has embarked on efforts to increase the power of wind turbines to around 5 MW. With turbines that are twice as powerful, it would be possible to double the energy generated in a similar space and reduce operational costs. “Technical advances could significantly extend the country’s wind potential,” states ABEEólica.