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Brazil – The Belo Monte Dam

In 2013, approximately 201 Million people were living in Brazil, making it the biggest country in South America and the fifth biggest country in the world. Of course this population needs a vast amount of energy to handle daily life issues. This demand of energy makes Brazil the 8th largest energy user and the 10th largest energy producer in the world. Oil and other liquid fuels with 47%, followed by hydroelectricity with 35% and natural gas with 8% form the largest shares of Brazil's total energy consumption. Additionally, Brazil is consuming increasing amounts of biomass in both the residential and industrial sectors.[1] Geographically, the Brazilian landscape consists of about 50% rainforest, including a complex system of rivers like the Amazon and the Paraná. The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiversed tropical forests in the Americas with the highest biodiversity of plants species on earth. The other part of the countryside is diverse and is characterized by hills, mountains, plains, highlands and scrublands.[2] Due to the country’s large river system and its eight major drainage basins, Brazil wants to expand its hydroelectricity sector. The country already holds the second largest dam, after the Chinese Three Gorges Dam, the Itaipu Binacional dam. Currently the government is building the world’s third largest dam in the Amazon rainforest, the Belo Monte Dam, which is located on the Xingu River in the state of Pará. The project has been proposed in the mid-1970s and construction has been initiated in 2011. The dam is supposed to work at partial capacity in 2016 and will reach full power by 2019 to support the Brazilian government in their promise to reduce Carbon Dioxide emission by 40%, at a cost of $17 billion US-Dollar. Since the Belo Monte Dam was proposed in the mid-1970s, a controversy about the…...

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