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Itaipu beats Three Gorges and takes back production lead
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20/01/2016
 Itaipu Binacional put out more than the Chinese power plant of Three Gorges in 2015 and took back the world lead in terms of annual electricity production. The power plant that belongs to Brazil and Paraguay also holds another historic mark: it is the largest producer of accumulated clean, renewable energy on the planet. Itaipu has generated over 2.312 billion accumulated megawatts-hour (MWh) since the plant started operating in May 1984, exactly 31 years and eight months ago. 
 
Despite its 14,000 MW installed capacity, lower than the Chinese plant’s 22,400 MW, Itaipu turned out 2.5% more than Three Gorges last year. The numbers were 89.2 million MWh against 87 million MWh. The information on the Chinese plant’s hydro power generation was only disclosed this Thursday, January 7. 
 
Since it began operating, Itaipu Binacional lost the position of world leader in terms of annual electricity generation only in 2014, when Brazil faced the most severe drought ever recorded. In 2015, production was below the past few years’ average but was considered excellent considering the drought faced by most of the country for the second year running, especially in the first semester. 
 
Itaipu’s production in 2015 (89,215,404 MWh) was 1.6% higher than in 2014 (87,795,393 MWh). The prospects for 2016 are positive as well. The binational power plant is expected to once again generate 90 million MWh, which it failed to do the last two years.  
 
“These figures make us even more optimistic that we are on the right track to keep on pursuing excellence in sustainable production and forecasting an even better 2016. This very first week of 2016 we are turning out 17% more than in the same period of 2015, the year we took back the position as world leaders in terms of energy output,” said Jorge Samek, Itaipu’s Brazilian general director and acting executive technical director.
Acting Operations Superintendent Alberto Araújo Bastos says "it is always good to be the planet’s most productive power plant in a given year, but the accumulated production is the most important aspect as it allows us to have a steady, sustainable flow.” Bastos points out Itaipu has been placing 100 million MWh in the market every 13 to 14 months and directly contributing to the development of Brazil and Paraguay.
 
Comparisons
 
The electricity generated by Itaipu in 2015 (89,215,404 million MWh) would be enough to supply the demand in Brazil’s entire northeast for one year and one month; the southeast for four months; and the south for a year. It would also supply the entire demand in a city like São Paulo for three years; Curitiba for 18 years; and Foz do Iguaçu for 155 years and eight months.  
 
In turn, the accumulated electricity (2.312 billion MWh) would be enough to supply the demand in the north for 71 years and five months; the southeast for nine years and six months; and the south for 27 years and three months. The entire demand in a city the size of São Paulo would be supplied for 78 years and five months; Curitiba, for 467 years; and Foz do Iguaçu, for 4,036 years and a month.  
 
Market
 
Today, Itaipu accounts for 15% of all electricity consumed in Brazil and serves over 75% of the Paraguayan power market. For Brazil and Paraguay, partners in the power plant, Itaipu’s production is essential for the two countries’ energy infrastructure, integration, and development.