Innovation Network in Green Energy: Evidence from Brazil
Cazares, Lorena E.
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Green energy innovation and investment around the world is picking up as nations diversify their energy sources to reduce dependency while remaining environmentally conscious. My work characterizes the Brazilian green energy market in terms of players, frequency of investment in research and thereby advances made for wind, solar and wave energy. Surveying the data publicly available shows that although efforts have been made to spur investment in renewables with programs such as the Program of Incentives for Alternative Energy Sources (PROINFA), not enough has been done to reduce the heavy reliance on hydropower and biomass through innovation. Universities and companies are not collaborating together enough to perfect alternative sources of energy for the country, despite the growth in energy demand. The Brazilian government needs to work with the private sector and universities to catalyze further diversification in energy sources, thereby necessitating deeper research. It needs to reduce costs in constructing wind farms, solar panels and devices that capture wave energy, reduce macroeconomic instability, provide easier access to information on financial incentives and establish more financial programs to stimulate greater partnerships between research institutes like universities and the private sector. Otherwise, significant challenges remain ahead as domestic energy demand increases in a strongly nationalistic nation reluctant to depend on foreign energy sources.