July 15 (Renewables Now) - The Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy has initiated talks and negotiations with state environmental agencies in order to accelerate the implementation of small hydropower plants (HPPs).
The goal of these talks is to standardise the licensing procedures and create a feasible construction portfolio of small HPPs, also know as PCHs.
Currently, there are 536 small hydro projects in bureaucratic limbo due to a lack of state licensing. This represents investments in the order of BRL 70 billion (USD 18.74bn/EUR 16.62bn) and enough power to supply about 14 million consumer units.
The government plans to highlight the importance of PCHs as one of the priorities for the Brazilian market in the new Decennial Expansion Plan (PDE) 2019-2029, scheduled for publication in December, it noted.
In Brazil, PCHs have an installed capacity between 5 MW and 30 MW and a reservoir area of up to 13 sq km, excluding the river bed. Presently, there are 424 PCHs in operation in the country.
(BRL 1 = USD 0.27/EUR 0.24)