The goal of making electric energy available by 2008 to 12 million Brazilians who still don’t have it, as President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced on Sunday, May 1st, is perfectly feasible. This is the opinion of the secretary of Energy Planning and Development in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Márcio Zimmerman.
Speaking at the opening of Power Future 2005, an event that is being held in Fortaleza, in northeastern Brazil, to discuss alternatives forms of energy for the country, Zimmerman said that this challenge is what gave rise to the Light for All program, put together around a year and a half ago by Minister Dilma Rousseff and “assumed as a government program” by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva .
According to Zimmerman, the program foresees 500 thousand connections this year, and the total should gradually increase through 2008. He affirmed that this represents a considerable challenge, since it does not only mean expanding the power network.
“There are instances that require different technological solutions, because they are isolated communities where you can use other forms of energy, such as solar, eolic, or biodiesel,” he observed.
Zimmerman went on to say that, of the 2.5 million connections to be made by 2008, 500 thousand are located in isolated communities. He recalled that having access to electricity does not only mean lighting homes.
“When you connect an isolated community, people’s reactions are impressive as they begin to be integrated into this century, with access to television and other comforts. In fact, what we are intending to do by 2008 is a redemption of citizenship,” he said.
The secretary also stated that the biggest challenge facing the new Brazilian energy model is to reduce charges to consumers. This is a consideration that needs to be weighed carefully in deciding which model is most adequate.