Hydroelectric plants account for more than 70% of electric energy generated in Brazil
It is important to highlight that the Federal Government determined that the second stage of the Accelerated Growth Program (PAC 2, a set of investment actions in the country's infrastructure) shall give priority to competitive energy sources that are renewable and have low carbon emissions.
The investments planned by the Federal Government power generation program reach R$ 113.7 billion between 2011 and 2014. After this period, a further R$ 22.9 billion shall be invested, totaling R$ 136.6 billion.
Most of the electricity generated in Brazil comes from hydro-electric plants, which account for almost 71% of Brazil's total installed capacity, currently around 115 megawatts (MW). The 929 hydro power plants in operation across the country have the capacity to generate 81,430 MW, according to August 2011 data from the Generation Information Database of the National Electrical Energy Agency (ANEEL).
The second largest source of energy in Brazil is thermal power plants, accounting for 28.2% of installed capacity. Of this total 11.4% is gas-fired, 7.3% biomass, 1.7% nuclear and 7% coal. Another participant in the energy generation matrix is wind power (0.97%).
Of the total 115,000 MW installed capacity in June 2011, for all energy sources, companies in the Eletrobras Group (a mixed capital company, which has the Federal Government as its largest shareholder)[link to Eletrobras material, within the item Power Sector Organization], present throughout national territory, are responsible for 41,700 MW - representing 36.26% of total installed capacity. This includes 29 hydroelectric, 15 thermoelectric and 2 thermonuclear plants.
Among the largest and most important Eletrobras Group plants are: Tucuruí, the largest 100% national hydroelectric plant (8,370 MW); the Brazilian part of Itaipu, the world's largest hydroelectric plant, operated jointly with Paraguay (7,000 MW); the Paulo Afonso Complex (3,984 MW); Xingó (3,162 MW); Angra 1 & Angra 2 (2,007 MW); Serra da Mesa (1,275 MW); Furnas (1,226 MW) and Sobradinho (1,050 MW).