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Geopolitics may help one Brazilian state get reliable and cheap electricity again.

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent, Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 762 items added with 379,400 views
  • Jan 31, 2023

The fall of Jair Bolsonaro and the rise of Lula da Silva has many implications for Brazil and the world. One of the more immediate and local impacts may come to the Brazilian state of Roraima. 

Roraima, Brazil's northernmost state, is the only state not connected to the nation's grid. The state has been using thermoelectric plans and fossil fuels to keep the lights on. Brazil is trying to build transmission lines between the state and the country's power systems, but protests from indigenous people are delaying the process.

However, there is an alternate, less common option for Roraima. The state has transmission lines connecting to the country of Venezuela. Brazil's relationship with Venezuela has fallen apart but da Silva is allegedly making it a priority to rethread those diplomatic ties with the country. If successful, Roraima could begin getting electricity from Venezuela, boosting the energy efficiency and diminishing the need for the country to build a new transmission system against the indigenous peoples' wishes.

Mário Miranda, Brazilian president of the local association of transmission companies known as Abrate, said the move to reconnect Roraima to Venezuela would be "praiseworthy." It goes without saying, but this is a perfect example of the impact elections have. Restoring diplomatic ties with Venezuela would have a significant ripple effect that impacts an entire state's ability to efficiently receive electricity. 


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