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Title:Petroleum, alcohol, and energy substitution in Brazil: Theoretical and empirical issues
Author(s):Biller, Dan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Baer, Werner W.
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, General
Abstract:As in other Latin American nations, the petroleum industry has always been surrounded by controversy in Brazil. Issues related to exploration, exploitation and import of crude have received special attention by Brazilian decision makers. In the past decade, an additional relevant issue was brought into play by the oil crisis. An import substitution program for energy was implemented by the development of alternative indigenous energy sources. Among these sources, sugar-cane was viewed as a reliable renewable resource for the production of fuel-alcohol and very recently of electricity. Brazil engaged in a gigantic program of fuel substitution, which is now facing severe problems due to the fall of petroleum prices. The objective of this dissertation is the analysis of the recent energy import substitution program in Brazil, specifically concentrating on microeconomic and environmental aspects of fuel substitution.
The dissertation is divided into six chapters. Chapter one introduces the problems. Chapters two and three discuss the development of the Brazilian petroleum industry and the alcohol program, respectively. Chapter four presents a microeconomic dynamic optimization model of fuel substitution planning. Chapter five examines the Program's environmental issues, its possibilities for producing other sources of energy besides alcohol, and the importance of sugar prices in the recent alcohol crisis. Chapter six concludes the dissertation analyzing the relation between alcohol producers and the petroleum monopoly, with particular attention paid to possibilities of privatization measures in the fuel industry for automobiles.
The dissertation addresses several important issues not commonly discussed in the literature of natural resource economics. Additionally, with the microeconomic and environmental analysis of urgent questions pertaining the energy substitution effort in Brazil, it contributes a different approach to policy making in this area. In view of the recent fall in international petroleum prices, adjustments in energy substitution programs are important. Nevertheless, decision makers should attempt to avoid myopic policies in energy development, due to their possible harmful environmental consequences and the exhaustible nature of petroleum.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Biller, Dan
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136545
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136545

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