Instituto Fernand Braudel de Economia Mundial - Associado à FAAP

Ed. 32: Blackout in Energy Policy

Brazil's difficulties in making decisions

Author: Norman Gall | Published in 2002

Apagão na política energética

We were lucky. The rains came. Thanks to heavy rainfall in early 2002, Brazil danced away from electricity shortages that last year threatened blackouts and forced rationing of 20% of what was then considered normal consumption. Effective rationing, managed by the government and supported by the population, revealed consumption economies that heightened the impact of abundant new rains. The rains suddenly flowed into Brazil’s reservoirs, feeding one of the world’s largest hydropower systems, to raise water from levels of acute scarcity (18% of capacity in dams supplying the populous Southeast) to an average approaching 70%. In the drier Northeast, reservoir levels had fallen to only five percent.


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