Wind is emerging as a prize for energy planners in Brazil who see the howling gusts that arrive from the east as a way to offset the fresh limits imposed on hydropower.

A string of wind-turbine parks is being erected in Brazil's windiest stretches, in what planners see as the beginning of an extraordinary transformation. No one expects that wind will outpace dams as the main source of electricity here. But the goals remain audacious for a country that projects an annual increase in electricity consumption of up to 5 percent in coming years.

To keep pace with that growth, Brazil's capacity to produce energy must increase by 50 percent over the next decade, government planners say — in line with a target set by rapidly growing China, and even faster than what is projected for Russia and India, two similarly sized, energy-hungry emerging economies.