Case #1827.0

Brazil Electricity Crisis

Publication Date: January 01, 2006
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In May of 2001, the Brazilian government ordered all consumers to reduce their power use by 20 percent. This case traces the events and decisions that led to one of the most severe electricity crises in Latin American history. How does a country with ample energy resources, a well-managed hydroelectric generating system, and a privatization effort that had recently attracted billions in foreign investment, find itself without adequate power to meet the basic needs of its citizens?

Learning Objective:
This case can be used as part of an energy or infrastructure curriculum, or as part of a course in government institutions. Many of the flaws in the Brazilian system relate to a lack of interagency coordination, inadequate regulation, and conflicting strategic goals. The case allows students to address the questions: Why did this crisis occur? What could Brazil's leases have done to avoid it?

Other Details

Case Author:
Henry Lee and Sunil Tankha
Faculty Lead:
Henry Lee and Sunil Tankha
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Funding Source:
Multilateral Investment Fund and the LAURIN Program