April 29, 2004
There is nothing like the risk of power shortages and blackouts to concentrate the minds of politicians. In Brazil, years of underinvestment have forced the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to unscramble the very rules governing the country's power industry that many blame for the decline in investment. Officials hope a new set of regulations will attract a large chunk of the $7 billion in annual investments needed to keep the lights on and the factories across Brazil working.
Even Itaipu, the world's largest dam,
cannot generate enough energy
Brazil and Mexico have chosen different approaches to deal with looming electricity shortages. The outcome of their plans will have far-reaching consequences.