Wind and Solar Energy in Brazil

Originally posted on Harvard Students Talk Rio+20:

This post is part of a 3-part blog series. For more, please see part two and part three.

I: MAKING THE CLEANEST ENERGY ECONOMY CLEANER

Brazil’s energy matrix is often touted as among the cleanest in the world: over 80% of Brazil’s power is produced from renewable resources.  The predominant share of this 80%, however, stems from hydroelectric power, an energy source increasingly criticized in Brazilian civil society for its damaging ecological footprint and potential for community displacement. Behind this national controversy, Brazil has embarked on significant, albeit less publicized, efforts to spur other renewables such as wind and biofuels.  This past winter, a team of Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School joint-degree students studied Brazil’s policies and approaches to promoting a domestic wind and solar energy industry.  Beyond understanding the key drivers for clean energy development in Brazil, the team paid close attention to the motivations influencing governmental energy…

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