Rains bring little relief to Brazil energy sector

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Associated Press

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 15 at 12:06 PM

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Recent rains have brought some relief to the depleted reservoirs of Brazil's hydroelectric plants but have done little to dispel concerns over the country's ability to fulfill its energy demands for the year.

A hotter than usual summer and lack of rain have caused water levels at hydroelectric dams in most of the country to drop to a third of their capacity. The levels are similar to those registered in 2001, when rationing was imposed and blackouts occurred.

The government has said Brazil will not resort to energy rationing because the country has thermal power plants that can be activated.

Claudio Sales, president of Instituto Ascende, an energy analysis group, says the situation is "worrisome because water levels at the reservoirs remain very low."

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