Society, Innovation and Energy Policy in Brazil
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE, INNOVATION, ENERGY POLICY, BRAZIL, SOCIO-TECHNICAL NETWORK, CLIMATE CHANGE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY
The study presents an overview of the Brazilian energy policy in the period 2005-2015, with emphasis on the analysis of the socio-technical network of the energy system. Brazil is among the countries with the highest energy potential, non-renewable or renewable (with one of the greatest potential for wind and solar resources). The study is based on empirical research involving the use of statistical data, analysis of interviews with scientists, businessmen and politicians, analysis of Laws and official documents of the energy sector. Among the results of the research, we highlight the existence of a system with reduced capacity for innovation and a centralized and bureaucratic regulation, which has been unable to increase the supply of demand, presenting a risk of collapse in the medium and long term. Among the factors that explain this trajectory (considering the last decade), the study highlights the presence of a peculiar socio-technical network (Latour and Knorr-Cetina), in which the political-business arena gains predominance, being determinant for the reduction of the transformative potential arising from the emergence of a new model of energy development and its societal consequences. In this context, paradoxically, new technologies and values (sustainability) coexist with technologies and practices of the nineteenth century, with the conservation of an extreme unequal society, with great risks (Beck and Giddens), both for social development and the preservation of natural resources and the ecosystem.