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Economy & Energy
No 30: February-March 2002  
 ISSN 1518-2932

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Technological Prospecting

On the Way to Sustainable Development

Energy and Emission Matrix 

Residential Sector

Transport Sector



João Antonio Moreira Patusco

       The present article expands the analysis made in previous articles, Steel and Aluminum – Export is good for whom ?, published in Diário do Nordeste of 07/15/2001; The electric energy crisis – causes and solutions, published in Correio Brasiliense of 08/10/2001 and four others, disseminated by the virtual electronic periodic (Economy & Energy) and in the Ilumina page.  

If the figures are correct as well as the ensuing analysis, one can state that a developed country is one that  imports energy, steel, aluminum and ferroalloys (capital- and energy-intensive products and little job-intensive) and exports products of larger aggregated value (technology- and manpower-intensive).

It is true that developed countries impose barriers and create subsidies for some of their products but it is also true that vast Brazil, with almost 170 million inhabitants, does not have efficient instruments and policies that allow the economy to have a growing and sustainable development. Brazilian exports have low aggregated value and are mostly concentrated on large companies. These same companies are buying the best hydroelectric plants in ANEEL’s auctions in order to maintain expansion. We are investing massively to have petroleum self-sufficiency, a sector that generates few jobs. Most of financing from BNDES are concentrated on large enterprises. The MW authorized and granted by ANEEL for generation expansion are much above than the necessity. There is no policy for utilization factor of thermoelectric generation (thermoelectric plants that operate in the base reduce the need of hydraulic installed capacity. If they operate on peak we will have to pay for the natural gas anyway).

The Country generates little internal saving and is highly dependent on foreign investments. Investment priorities, channeling them to more job-intensive sectors and less to capital-intensive ones, seems to be the essential condition for a sustainable economic and social development. It is not what we are experiencing.

According to the Gazeta Mercantil’s Annual Balance of 2001 that examined about 9700 enterprises, the differences regarding employees per million Reais of assets of some economic sectors are significant. There are sectors that generate 30 times more jobs than others. For example, the steel, aluminum, petroleum and electric energy sectors generate about 1 job per million Reais of assets while the leather and shoes sector generates more than 30 jobs per million Reais of assets. 

Based on data from the International Energy Agency – IEA, 69% of the world Gross Domestic Product – GDP, correspond to countries which are 45% dependent on energy and have a per capita GDP of US$ 23,500. 

On the other hand, 72% of the exported energy corresponds to countries that have a per capita GDP of only US$ 1,800 and whose amount represents 8% of the world GDP. The few developed countries that export energy have low demographic density and represent only 2% of the world population. 


Similarly, data from the Brazilian Institute for Steel Industry and the Brazilian Aluminum Association show that developed countries are steel and aluminum importers and that the exporters are the developing countries.


  In the previous articles it was shown that the Country had considerably increased the energy intensity, partly due to the large increase of metallurgy expansion (steel. Aluminum and ferroalloys) intended for exports. It was also shown that these exports have little contributed to the Brazilian GDP. It was shown as well that whenever there was any commercial surplus in the country in the three last decades it was much more due to imports reduction than increase of exports. In other words, we have not yet found a way to grow with commercial surplus. In the period when we have had the largest commercial surplus, from 1980 to 1993, the GDP grew 1.6% annually.   

Considering the data until now presented and some data from other articles, it is possible to build the table that follows, where we can observe that, with assets equivalent to steel, aluminum and ferroalloys exports added to the assets equivalent to the aggregated energy, the Country could have in the market more than 1 million of employees in the leather and shoes industry. Even if we distribute this assets equivalence among a pool of sectors we would aggregate to the market more than 600 thousand employees. The leather and shoes sector, with assets around 3.4 billion Reais, exports about 2.3 billion US$ and employs 102,000 people. The steel and aluminum sector assets are 20 times larger, generates the same number of jobs and exports 3.7 billion US$. 


Petrobrás, with assets of 68 billion Reais, generates only 46 thousand jobs (in the last years, in spite of the elevated investments, the number of employees has been decreasing). With Petrobrás’ investments of one year one could duplicate the leather and shoes industry and aggregate to the market more 100 thousand workers, besides the possibility of increasing exports. The investments of 32 billion Reais foreseen by Petrobrás for the next 5 years would be sufficient to double the installations of the vehicles and spare parts sector that today employs about 650 thousand people and exports 8.5 billion US$. 

The intensification of debates about the presented questions is perhaps the way to sustainable development for this Country which is wonderful, has land, sun, water, mineral resources and a hard-working people that wants only a opportunity to show its merits.


Author: João Antonio Moreira Patusco



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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

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