Hydropower has historically dominated Brazil’s power system, leaving the country’s energy supply vulnerable to extreme hydrological variations. Brazil will embrace an energy system that integrates more solar and wind resources to diversify its energy mix and further mitigate carbon emissions.
To explore this, we present PyPSA-Brazil, a novel model based on publicly accessible data and the PyPSA modelling framework. The modelling of the cost-optimal system incorporates a simplified grid with one node per federal state to optimize the operation and expansion of generation, storage, and transmission for all hours of the year. To demonstrate PyPSA-Brazil, a case study that depicts the limits on transmission grid expansion is exemplarily evaluated. Expanding today’s lines by 175% could help Brazil to achieve a zero-emissions energy system, but this may require additional flexible capacity beyond the existing and planned hydro and biomass power plants. Further investment is particularly needed to expand the transmission between the new renewable energy production centres in the north-east and south of Brazil and the consumption hotspots in the south-east.
Keywords Brazil, power system, large-scale renewable power integration, transmission network, open source