Social and environmental impacts of the Brazilian wind energy market
Abstract The share of wind power is rapidly increasing in the Brazilian energy market due to its large potential in some Brazilian regions and its renewability as a resource, presenting low GHG emissions compared to other energy resources. Wind energy is therefore a promising alternative given the current energy security crisis caused by more frequent water shortages. The wind power generation is presenting competitive costs with conventional energy sources. Wind farms, however, like any other economic activity, may have social and environmental impacts that must be investigated and mitigated. These controversial dimensions of wind energy make the location of wind farms a very complex problem, given the conflicting interests between local impacts and the nationwide benefit related to energy security and a cleaner energy matrix. This article presents a review of publications on wind power in Brazil in order to promote a discussion of aspects related to its social and environmental impacts. Due to the short history of wind power plants in Brazil, studies including a more-detailed assessment of socio-environmental impacts must be conducted with financial support from the energy sector itself to promote sustainable growth of wind power in the Brazilian electricity matrix.