Theses Doctoral

Electricity Market Reforms and Renewable Energy: The Case of Wind and Solar in Brazil

Bradshaw, Amanda

This dissertation investigates the relationship between electricity market reforms and the development of renewable energy through interviews with policymakers, energy experts, and industry representatives in Brazil. Within the context of market-oriented power reforms initiated in the 1990s, policymakers have attempted to diversify the energy supply and reduce the country’s reliance on hydroelectric power. However, Brazil’s pre-existing hydropower infrastructure has hindered the diffusion of alternative options. By looking at energy auctions and net-metering regulations for wind and solar energy, this research explores the role of independent regulators in facilitating the development of non-hydro renewable sources of energy. While academic and policy debates center on designing public support schemes for renewable energy, this research argues that adaptive regulation can provide opportunities for new technologies that policy instruments alone are unable to achieve. In particular, the governance characteristics of regulatory agencies are critical to the effective articulation of renewable energy policies. Three subnational case studies further demonstrate how states and regions contribute to developing and deploying wind and solar energy technologies.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Beauregard, Robert
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 15, 2018