Brazil as an International Energy Player

This paper is a section of the forthcoming publication “Brazil as an Economic Superpower? Understanding Brazil’s Changing Role in the Global Economy” (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press), Lael Brainard and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz (eds.).


This paper puts forward an analysis of the current Brazilian energy matrix in terms of its key components—oil, natural gas, hydropower, and biofuels—as well as the policies and market regulations that sustain them. Once this broad picture is established, the paper discusses the sector’s main trends and their international implications, both regionally and globally. The hypothesis is that Brazil has been moving from a strict, self-sufficient, fully state-controlled strategy toward a more efficient and secure energy security approach based on a combination of domestic, regional, and international factors. State control is still an important determinant, but not the central one.