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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Policies to Encourage the Sustainable Development of Brazilian Electricity System with Distributed Generation

Daniel Vieira

Policies to Encourage the Sustainable Development of Brazilian Electricity System with Distributed Generation


Brazil is a developing economy that is growing fast and expects a massive increase in electricity demand in the next decades. That will require, in addition to the traditional central generation schemes, efficient usage of the distributed resources to generate electricity close to the load centres. This would entail government intervention with adequate policies to suitably encourage the best options of distributed generation.

In order to do that, five distributed generation technology options were chosen in the present work (small hydro, biomass, photovoltaic solar systems, wind energy and cogeneration) with the aim of establishing which of these alternatives would be the most appropriate to be encouraged by policymakers in Brazil in a holistic approach that takes into account economic, environmental, social and technical aspects of each option.

The conclusions point out several positive impacts of possible policies to encourage small hydro, biomass and wind energy technologies and shows that the contribution of photovoltaic systems to the sustainable development of Brazil is very limited. The work also includes further discussion of the results and the trade-offs involved in the decision making process, as well as a sensitivity analysis to assess the vulnerabilities of the assumptions used and the robustness of the results presented.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.