Brazil Eyes US Investment in Renewable Energy Through Contract Stability

July 14, 2009

The Greater Houston Partnership hosted a breakfast roundtable discussion with Brazil’s Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Marcio Zimmerman at the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston, Texas on July 10th, 2009.

The Deputy Minister addressed two key points during the breakfast.The first was the desire for increased investment by the US in Brazil. The second being Brazil’s energy plans through the year 2030. Deputy Minister Marcio Zimmerman stated that Brazil understood the need for contractual stability in the regulatory and legal environment of Brazil in order to achieve foreign investment.

He repeatedly emphasized the opportunities for US companies to be successful in Brazil and candidly discussed the need for Brazil to create an environment of stability. Zimmerman stated that 46% of Brazil’s energy is renewable (most of which is Hydroelectric) and that the US has the highest investment in renewable energy in the world. Brazil is committed to stabilizing the contractual environment in order to make investment possible.

He also stated that it was important to always realize that when dealing with natural resources it was important to act in a manner that was in the best interests of the people of Brazil. Brazil’s Energy plans through 2030 rely on increased investment in renewable resources and utilizing new technologies to create greater efficiencies and less environmental impact. While hydroelectric power would continue to be a major area of investment for Brazil, biofuels, solar power and wind energy would also be heavily invested in.

The Deputy Minster also noted that he was quite surprised at the advanced stage of US biofuel development and felt that this could be another area for US and Brazil cooperation as biofuels only represent 4-5% of Brazilian diesel production. The Deputy Minister ended by discussing the simlarities that exist between the US and Brazil stating that both countries benefit from vibrant multicultural backgrounds and that there are natural synergies for cooperation within the energy industry.

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