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From açaí to access: distributed electrification in rural Brazil

Hisham Zerriffi (Liu Institute for Global Issues, Vancouver, Canada)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 11 April 2008




To rigorously examine success and failure in the use of small scale technologies for rural electrification.


Semi‐structured primary field interviews plus secondary sources.


Business model differences and influence of institutions important are important for understanding success and failure in rural electrification and the contribution rural electrification can play in rural development.

Research limitations/implications

Data on the entire universe of distributed electrification efforts are unavailable. This highlights the need for better documentation of energy activities in rural areas.

Practical implications

The development of new policies to guide rural electrification towards more sustainable and development enhancing outcomes.


Prior studies have taken an ad hoc approach to study previous projects and suffer from case selection bias since their scope is limited in geography (one country, region or even village), technology (only PV or only wind or only renewables), or end‐use (household electrification and productive uses). This study proposes a clear set of independent and dependent (as well as control) variables and looks across a range of cases to draw conclusions.



Zerriffi, H. (2008), "From açaí to access: distributed electrification in rural Brazil", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 90-117.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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