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Monday, 3 December, 2001, 15:47 GMT
Brazil fails to meet energy targets
Rio de Janeiro skyline
Blackouts are in prospect unless energy use falls
Six months ago Brazil's federal government decided to ration energy consumption by a large proportion of the country in order to reach its economic energy targets.

Those figures have not been yet, so now more severe measures for the regions that failed to comply are to be imposed over the next three months.

Two dry winters have added to the greater problem of inadequate public investment in energy over the past five years in Brazil.

The influential Institute of Economy at the federal university of Rio de Janeiro said this week that unless new power plants are up and running within months, Brazil can expect the same problems in the future.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has been heavily criticised with domestic, commercial and industrial sectors ordered to cut their energy consumption by nearly 20%.

Lift problems

In Rio city centre, queues can be seen outside public buildings now using a single lift to help the cause.

Rio also suffers the added pressures of an annual tourist influx and increased summer temperatures, leading to greater use of air conditioners and refrigeration.

The result is that the city's energy consumption rises 15% above the winter low.

Rio's state governor, Anthony Garotinho, has publicly declared that the government's figures are unfair and that tariffs of 200%, demanded of those who break the imposed limits are unacceptable.

Garotinho has this week threatened a public civil action against the federal government unless they rethink their figures.

Blackouts have not been ruled out.

See also:

03 Sep 01 | Americas
Brazil calls for more energy cuts
28 Jun 01 | Americas
Brazil energy march turns violent
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