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The tank level is getting better, but it still doesn't reduce your electric bill

The tank level is getting better, but it still doesn’t reduce your electric bill

The rains that have been recorded in several regions since mid-October are already reflected in the level of storage of the country’s main reservoirs, but it is still too early to assume the “calm” situation of the electricity sector, say experts heard by the Ministry of Health. Estadao / broadcast (Grupo Estado’s real-time news system).

As for consumers, the improvement should not be noticeable in the coming months, as it will not lead to an immediate relief in electricity bills. Expectations are that tariffs will continue to weigh on Brazilians’ pockets.

In 2021, the country experienced its worst shortage in 91 years. The most dangerous situation was in the subsystem of the Southeast and Midwest regions, which is considered the “water reservoir” of the electricity sector.

Last January, the tanks level reached 23.36% of the total capacity, and fell to 16.75% in September. Now, according to the latest data from the operator of the National Electrical System (ONS), the projection is that they will reach the end of January at 40% of capacity.

The outlook is also positive for other regions. It is expected that the reservoirs will reach by the end of this month 73.2% of their capacity in the north and 70.2% in the northeast. In the south, expectations are for a level lower than that recorded in recent months.

“The reservoirs are rising, as we know it is raining in several areas of the country. But we have to wait for the end of the rainy season, March or April, to have this calm. At the moment, we can say that the reservoirs are recovering well”, assesses the Director-General For the Office for National Statistics, Luis Carlos Ciucci.

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Blackout from the map

Along the same lines, Francisco Deniz, head of the Center for Weather Analysis and Forecasting at the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet), thinks it’s too early to do an analysis, but the reservoirs have recovered well.

He explained that there should be drought in the coming days in the areas where there are reservoirs serving the electricity sector, but it will not last long, and the rains are scheduled to resume at the end of January and their intensity will increase during the next month. “I think there will be better services in the future for areas that have reservoirs,” he said.

The situation is better than last year, says Nevaldi de Castro, a professor at the UFRJ Institute of Economics and coordinator of the Electricity Sector Studies Group (GISEL), and given the current scenario, there is no danger of an imbalance between energy supply and demand.

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This is contributed, according to him, to rain, the expansion of the installed capacity for power generation, the start of new projects that will pump more energy to serve consumers, and the weak level of economic activity.

“Energy supply has grown. In terms of storage, because it is raining, expanding the installed capacity of the system, with new plants, especially wind and solar power. On the other hand, demand will not grow due to the economic crisis. From a equilibrium point of view, the risks of blackout are off the map.” The problem now is the cost,” he says.

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“It is raining heavily, and these tragedies that have occurred in the country indicate that, and this rain is so heavy that it is enough to meet the demand and there is water left in the reservoirs.”

The electrical system’s service conditions will be analyzed today by the Electricity Sector Monitoring Committee (CMSE). At the last meeting, in December, the university, chaired by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Pinto Albuquerque, maintained some extraordinary measures to ensure that residents attended in 2022.

However, the group chose to limit power generation through thermal plants and energy imports to an average of 15,000 megawatts (megawatt average) throughout December. The decision, according to the government, gives priority to activating the cheapest stations.

Measures leave a gap for the consumer

The government’s measures to prevent blackouts and rationing last year averted the risks of power supply problems, but came at a high cost to consumers.

as it seems from Estadao / broadcastOnly the cost of using thermal plants and importing energy from Argentina and Uruguay is R$16.8 billion as of October. Even the creation of a more expensive sign, Water Scarcity, was not enough to cover all the expenses and a new financial contribution would be necessary. The loan will avoid paying fees this year, but will be paid back with interest in the future.

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The Director General of the Operator of the National Electrical System (ONS), Luiz Carlos Ciucci, understands that tariffs should not come cheap in the short term. “The science of water scarcity is already planned until April and covers the costs already incurred. If we end the rainy season at good levels, then yes, we will have a lower cost during the year,” he explained.

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Funds collected via tariff flags through April will be used to cover the costs of actions related to the months of September, October and November, totaling R$8.6 billion, and the deficit recorded before the new level was established – representing R$5 billion by July.

However, the problem remained. According to data from the National Electric Power Agency (Aneel), the account is accumulating a deficit of R$12.35 billion as of November.