Brazil- Belo Monte Dam Exam

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  • Created by: amy
  • Created on: 17-01-13 15:48

Figure P3- Energy consumption (2006)

Figure P3 could be drawn in a... 


  • The numbers are already in percentages so you multiply the values by 3.6 to find out how many degrees each sector will be. (eg.) 
  • It is easy and simple to construct, draw a circle and using a protracter draw the degrees of each angle/sector. 
  • A key is used to identify each energy type.
  • Easy to compare and contrast each type. 
  • Easy to interpret and make comparasions. 
  • In a pie chart its easy to see the proportion of each energy type, rather than a bar chart.
  • Draw one with key. 
  • Visually simple to understand.
  • Most of Brazils energy consumption is from oil, nearly half
  • 36% is from HEP 
  • The least type is from renewables such as solar and wind
  • However NOW..... oil is still highest but decreased by 10%
  • Hep has also decreased, however other renewables increased by 20%, due to understanding and development into other energy supplies such as wind and solar
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Wind Power

  • 20% of Brazils energy consumption
  • Most likely location:North east and South east
  • have highland and coastal so produce contant winds, giving the area constand supply


  • Clean, renewable, sustainable energy
  • Least costly of all renewables
  • Offers a stable, long term price for power production
  • can supply on large scale
  • Land surrounding the farms can be used for farming, which supports the economy of remote areas
  • Smaller scale than HEP so less enviromental impact
  • Steady winds, 11-13mph 
  • Adds to Brazils energy mix making it more enviromentally friendly
  • Brazil has.... of coastline with great wind energy potentiol
  • Brazil has a constant wind circulation system at an appropriate intensity for wind generation
  • Brazil has highland areas -ideal locations


  • Noise pollution
  • Large and unsightly
  • The location would be on highland or in the North which means the energy would have be transported to the cities
  • Wind power isnt stored, and not alll currents can be harnessed
  • Good wind sites are in remote locations, away from towns to investment is required to supply energy
  • Need certain wind speeds
  • Can disrupt wildlife, esp birds
  • In times of low wind, back up energy is needed from other sources
  • Needs goverment backing
  • Often located in rural areas, yet urban areas needs the energy
  • Due to its smaller scale, it cant compete with sources such as HEP
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Solar Energy


  • Renewable, sustainable source
  • No pollution
  • Require little maintanance
  • Brazil has a sunny climate so good solar potentiol
  • Brazil consumes alot of energy and many consumers like that solar energy is ecofriendly and renewable, saving money in the long term
  • Figure P7 shows that Brazil has a very warm climate all year round so great potential for solar


  • Initial cost is high
  • Solar energy can't be created at night but can be collected in the day and stored to use later
  • To provide large scale amounts of energy, hude areas of panels are needed
  • However due to Brazil's low air pressure it is often cloudy therefore reducing amount of solar radiation
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Figure P5- Brazils gas production and consumption

  • The graph shows that between 1998 and 1998 gas production and consumption increased at the same level and in 10 years increased by 100%. 
  • Between 1988 and 2008 production began to increase at a higher rate than consumption, 400% since 1988.
  • Changes to production and consumption of gas has implications in the future.
  • Before anything can happen, gas requires alot of infrastructure and upfront investment. 
  • It is at a high selling price which is bad for Brazil's economy. 
  • Demand for natural gas is rising in Brazil due to rising oil prices, and an increase of the use of 'flex-cars' in Brazil using gas as an alternative fuel. 
  • Brazil Imports natural gas from Bolivia and Trinidad&Tobago.
  • As production increases, so does consumption, until 1988 when Brazils production and consumption are the same, 100billioncubicfeet.
  • Between 1988 and 1998 they both increase steadily at a similar rate and by 1998 there has been an 100% increase.
  • However consumption begins to accelerate above production meaning that Brazil is using more gas than it is producing.
  • In 2008 consumption increased by over 400% and is almost double production.
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Brazil-oil consumption-Figure P4

  • Brazil has 12.6barrels of oil reserves located of the country;s south east coast. 
  • Because of rising oil production and slow growth in consumption it is expected Brazilw ill become a net oil exporter in 2009.
  • This prediction is true and is continued to export oil in 2010 and 2011. 
  • It is predicted Brazil's oil consumption will be the same as production in 2012, but will continue to export in 2013. 


  • Is the cleanest burning fossil fuel 
  • Brazil has a large reserves of oil so no need to import from other countries
  • Can export oil from its reserves to increase revenue and therefore development and quality of life


  • Wars over who owns oil
  • transport is dangerous-oil spills -enviromental and social impacts
  • high oil prices
  • Is difficult to access and therefore costly
  • Not sustainable/renewable-will run out
  • doesnt create a good energy mix
  • global warming
  • demand for oil has decreased as developed countries want to become more sustainable
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Ethanol (biofuels)

  • Brazil and US account for 90% of the worlds ethanol production
  • Made from femented plants/crops containing starch/sugar, they are ground up and the sugar is dissolved from the material, microbes feed on the sugar producing ethanol which is then purified to increase concentration. 
  • Becoming more in demand as an alternative energy


  • Is a renewable source
  • Cheaper than normal fuel
  • ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline so less toxic fumes and pollution
  • Doesnt contribrute to greenhouse gases
  • Provides employment, infrastucture, leading to development in the country
  • alternative to fossil fuels, oil
  • tax benefit- flexfuel tax credit which replaced the clean fuel burning deduction, reducing the tax payyers tax obligation


  • crops used to produce ethanol cant be used again so could lead to higher animal food prices
  • Engine damage-ethanol causes corrosion&damage to engines as it absorbs dirt easily
  • Not many petrol stations sell flex-fuel, trouble buying it for consumer
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Figure P6-Brazil's electricity by generation

Figure P6 could be displayed in a ... 


  • You can see change over time 
  • Easily compare and contrast the different kinds of energy
  • Is fairly easy to consturct, using a key to identify different types
  • Better than a bar chart as you can compare trends more acuratly and easily
  • Creates precise readings 
  • See correlations and easy to interpret
  • Gain a better understanding than the table
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Wind- website

  • Aims to provide accurate and balanced information on development in South America
  • Are sponsered by the US Southern Command which is a military organisation, may have their own agenda
  • the site is easy to use with an interactive toolbar at the side 
  • has a search bar- easy navigation 


quality of info 



links for checking?



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Brazil's Development

Brazil is a BRIC and a NIC Evidence Brazil is becoming an MEDC:

  • Population growth rate is low, common charachteristic among MEDC's
  • % of population living in urban areas is over 80%-associated with MEDC's
  • As people move away from rural areas, employment becomes mainly tertiary and services which is Brazil's main employment sector

Evidence Brazil is still an LEDC:

  • 20% are still working in primary industry, most LEDC's have around 6%
  • GDP per capita is only $10,100, fairly low for a developing country 
  • population below poverty line is 26%

However GDP is increasing and as is population below poverty line

$11,900                                                      21.4%

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Against Dam

  • Inefficent-low population density- needs to be transported, costs money and loses energy 
  • In dry seasoon- economically inefficent-lease efficent dam in Brazil
  • Displaces 20,000-40,000-destruction of culture and knoledge, many move to the cities-struggle for work
  • Illnesses- first contact with outsiders-TB outbreak-85% of Kayapo died,
  • Flooding of the river=stagmant water= increase in mosquitos, malaria and other water borne diseases
  • Flooding rainforest= methane released from plant matter on river bed
  • Distupt local wildlife and ecosystems
  • Human rights- never consulted
  • Cost of construction- belived to be ..... but actual costs could be as high as... 
  • Diversion of 80% of the Xingu- extinction of fish 
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Dam displacement

The dam will displace thousands of people:

  • could have better living standards
  • compensate them, better housing, money, energy 
  • move them to another part of the river
  • force migration
  • healthcare incentives
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Sustainability of Belo Monte

  • will increase investemnet- more able to develop
  • very efficent in rainy season
  • the displacement numbers are less than the three gorges dam
  • there is already a natural drop which isnt too wide
  • renewable energy-there for future use
  • won't need as much maintenance as coal fired power stations
  • more enviromentally friendly than gas, oil and coal
  • economically viable
  • loose species: zebra pleca,xingu poisin dart frog will become extinct
  • lead to deforestation
  • displacement of tribes and indigenous people
  • no rainfall for 4-5 months in the dry season-38% less capacity
  • it will be located far away from populated areas-have to transport it which may cause loss of energy
  • will affect the river upstream and downstream 
  • loose rainforest
  • rotting trees will release methane, more harmful(25%) than c02
  • species are lost
  • overcrowding could be a result of displacement into larger towns
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