Blackouts in Brazil

This item appears on page 68 of the April 2014 issue.

Blackouts in 11 of Brazil’s 27 states on Feb. 4 left more than six million people without power, including in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. 

Most of Brazil’s energy is produced at hydroelectric dams, but the country’s reservoirs were reduced to 40% of capacity following very dry weather and a heat wave that resulted in an increased demand for electricity. If the trend continues, further blackouts may occur, raising concerns for those looking forward to the World Cup coming up in Brazil in June and July.