Tag Archives: Hydropower

Damned Ponys and the environmental officer that couldn’t care less: two talk-of-the-week videos

Pôneis malditos!

You cannot miss these two videos. The first is the stickiest commercial aired in a long time on Brazilian TV. A voice in off asks you if you want a car with horse power…or pony power.

You can also see a version with English subtitles.

The second video shows Australian TV interviewing Curt Trennepohl, new Ibama’s president, about controversial dam Belo Monte, in the Amazon. Ibama is the national Environmental agency, but Trennepohl says his job is not to care for the environment, but to “minimize the impacts”, because the country really needs more energy. His two previous predecessor gave up the job exactly because they felt uneasy about approving Belo Monte’s project. The same happened to former Environment minister and presidential candidate Marina Silva. The huge Belo Monte dam complex, on Xingu river, in the state of Pará, meant to have the third biggest generation capacity – after Three Gorges, in China, and Itaipu, in Brazil – will flood a large forest area and might compromise the life of several indigenous groups. It’s economic viability and efficiency are also questioned. Trennepohl gave the environmental license for its construction in early June.

And, by the way, check this great Washington Post story about the multiple problems that the Chinese are facing thanks to the Three Gorges dam. Read and learn, Trennepohl.

All Brazilian hydro power in one snapshot

This great graphic was produced by ONS (Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico), the manager of the 78 gigawatt Brazilian power generation system. It shows all the hydro power plants in operation, their capacity in megawatts, in what watershed (bacia) they are located and their proximity to the coast (note that the ocean is in the bottom of the picture). In the center of the map you will see a list of companies (Agentes) that operate these plants (each power plant has a number that indicate its operator). Released early last year, this document has projections till 2014.

Click on the image and you will have the full picture. Or enter ONS website to download the image.