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Rural electrification of the Brazilian Amazon - Achievements and lessons


  • Gómez, Maria F.
  • Silveira, Semida


The Brazilian government has the ambition to provide complete electricity coverage for all citizens as a means to promote development and reduce inequalities. Full coverage implies the provision of electricity to 15 million people in the country by the end of 2010 through the program Luz para Todos (LPT - light for all) launched in 2003. So far, 11 million people have benefited, 2 million of which live in the Amazon. In this paper, we analyze the linkages between development and rural electrification through the Human Development Index (HDI) and within the context of the Amazon. We examine the suitability of the HDI as a planning and monitoring tool for improving energy access and development. We show that the recognition of electricity access as a driver for development has led to concrete goals for electrification, actual action and welfare improvement. Our study serves to highlight the role of LPT in the development of the Amazon region, and the specific features and achievements of the Brazilian policy for universal electrification. We conclude that some challenges related to the electrification of isolated areas still lie ahead. We finalize with a discussion on the relevance of the Brazilian experience to other developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Gómez, Maria F. & Silveira, Semida, 2010. "Rural electrification of the Brazilian Amazon - Achievements and lessons," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6251-6260, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:6251-6260

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tanner, Andrew M. & Johnston, Alison L., 2017. "The Impact of Rural Electric Access on Deforestation Rates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 174-185.
    2. Mainali, Brijesh & Silveira, Semida, 2013. "Alternative pathways for providing access to electricity in developing countries," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 299-310.
    3. van Els, Rudi Henri & de Souza Vianna, João Nildo & Brasil, Antonio Cesar Pinho, 2012. "The Brazilian experience of rural electrification in the Amazon with decentralized generation – The need to change the paradigm from electrification to development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 1450-1461.
    4. Hammar, Linus & Ehnberg, Jimmy & Mavume, Alberto & Francisco, Francisco & Molander, Sverker, 2012. "Simplified site-screening method for micro tidal current turbines applied in Mozambique," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 414-422.
    5. Slough, Tara & Urpelainen, Johannes & Yang, Joonseok, 2015. "Light for all? Evaluating Brazil's rural electrification progress, 2000–2010," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 315-327.
    6. Ferrer-Martí, Laia & Garwood, Anna & Chiroque, José & Ramirez, Benito & Marcelo, Oliver & Garfí, Marianna & Velo, Enrique, 2012. "Evaluating and comparing three community small-scale wind electrification projects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(7), pages 5379-5390.
    7. Andrea Vaona & Natalia Magnani, 2014. "Access to electricity and socio-economic characteristics: panel data evidence from 31 countries," Working Papers 15/2014, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    8. Sánchez, A.S. & Torres, E.A. & Kalid, R.A., 2015. "Renewable energy generation for the rural electrification of isolated communities in the Amazon Region," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 278-290.
    9. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:55-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Gómez, Maria F. & Silveira, Semida, 2015. "The last mile in the Brazilian Amazon – A potential pathway for universal electricity access," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 23-37.
    11. Lino, F.A.M. & Ismail, K.A.R., 2011. "Energy and environmental potential of solid waste in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3496-3502, June.
    12. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:1255-1265 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:1033-1043 is not listed on IDEAS


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