Dilma’s power problem

Keith Johnson – Foreign Policy, 2/19/2014

Brazil, the old joke goes, is the country of the future — and always will be. Unfortunately, when it comes to fulfilling the promise of the country’s rich energy resources, the joke rings only too true.

Brazil’s transformation into an energy powerhouse, seemingly so close just a few years ago, has been hobbled by politics. The country’s ability to take advantage of massive offshore oil resources is increasingly questioned, its once-vaunted biofuels industry is reeling, and there are even concerns this year about keeping the lights on and power companies solvent.

There are plenty of things to blame for the hiccups, starting with a severe drought that has hamstrung Brazil’s ability to generate electricity from hydroelectric power, which in turn as led to a spike in fuel imports to run other power plants.

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