Brazil is located in Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest country in South America, with total land area of 8,511,965km2. It also has the largest population in South America 186,112,794 (July 2005 est). The Brazilian population is predominantly young, with 62% under 29 years of age. Brazil has undergone a dramatic demographic transformation since 1970, because of a massive urbanisation process and economic modernisation (CIA Facts). Total electricity production of Brazil is 344,645GWh, consisting of coal 8,334GWh, oil 12,981GWh, gas 13,105GWh, biomass 11,404GWh, nuclear 13,837GWh and hydro 284,944GWh (IEA energy statistics, 2002). According to Phrasebase database elects production by source electricity includes fossil fuel 5.85%, nuclear 1.44%, hydro 88.97%, and other 3.74%.

Installed, planned, and remaining hydro power potential

The first recorded initiative in the field of electricity power supply in Brazil was the implementation of the Ribeirao do Inferno hydroelectric plant in 1883, with the purpose of supplying mining activities in the city of Diamantina, Minas Gerais.

It was used to power the water pumps used in the diamond mining. In 1885, Companhina Fiacao e Techidos Sao Silvestre installed a 178kW hydroelectric plant.

Brazil has one of the world’s largest hydro power potential estimated at 260,276MW. It had invested significantly in planning and building dams to generate power. The technical potential of Brazil is 93,694MW of which 69,087MW is currently installed. The current installed capacity contributes 82.9% of national electricity production. The total capacity is likely to reach 100,000MW by 2008.

There are 172 plants larger than 10MW in operation. About 65 plants are in the range of 100 to 1000MW and seven plants are larger than 1000MW. The Itaipu hydroelectric power plant, largest in operation in the world, is a binational undertaking developed by Brazil and Paraguay on the Paraná river. The installed power of the plant is 12,600MW with 18 generator units of 700MW each. The 18 Itaipu generators entered operation, on schedule, at a rate of two or three per year, starting in May 1984. The 18th generator entered operation on 9 April 1991. Every year, the plant surpasses its own world record of energy production.

The installed capacity of the plant was enlarged to 14,000MW in the middle of 2004, when two new generator units began operating.

Brazil has the largest hydro power development programme of the Latin American countries with more then 15 new major capacity additions, totalling 9750MW, under construction, and nearly 5000MW at the planning stage. According to the planning studies by the Ministry of Energy and Mines more than 60 hydro projects will be implemented between now and 2010, with capacities of more than 30MW each. Belo Monte, with a planned capacity of 11,182MW on the Xingo river in the Amazon region, will be one of the largest hydro plants in the world.

Age structure in the industry

The total labor force of Brazil is 89 million (2004 est), the composition of labor force is agriculture 20%, industry 14%, services 66% (2003 est.) (CIA Facts). Due to lack of information regarding the age structure of people working in hydro power industry, a more broad perceptive has been used for research. It uses the term put forward by International Labour Organization (ILO) commonly know as economically active population i.e. The economically active population comprises all persons of either sex who furnish the supply of labour for the production of economic goods and services as defined by the United Nations systems of national accounts and balances during a specified time-reference period (ILO).

Educational programmes

• Universidade Federal Do Parana was the first Brazilian university. It has post-graduate courses (Europe and others) and graduate courses (North America) and a Master called hydro-resource and environmental engineering. Another programme running at undergraduate and graduate programme level is hydraulics structure for hydropower. This includes hydraulics, hydrology, environmental engineering, power and economy for hydro power.

• Santa Cruz do Sul University has some courses in hydro resources management. It also has a group involved in research related with hydro power plants, environmental and hydro resources management. This group includes students, staff members and teachers.;

• University de Sao Paulo has a programme taught at undergraduate and graduate level, related with hydro power

• Universidade Rio Grande do Sul has a programme taught at undergraduate and graduate level, related to hydro power.

• Universidade de Minas Gerais has programmes at graduate and undergraduate level related to hydro, including hydraulic structures.

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