Economy & Energy
No 34: October - November 2002
 ISSN 1518-2932

seta.gif (5908 bytes)No 34 Em Português

 

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e&e No 34

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Alcohol Revisited

Potential  of Ethanol Production from Sugarcane

Former Minister Camilo Penna receives the highest decoration

Economic Growth in a Democratic and more Just Society

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Alcohol:

Fuel alcohol gave prominence to Brazil in the world energy panorama during the period of petroleum price crisis. The possibility of another war in the Persian Gulf and the rise of international petroleum prices have brought back the subject. The concerns about the greenhouse effect, included in the world’s environment priorities, have reactivated the discussion relative to alcohol. e&e presents two articles by our collaborators with different points of view, perhaps divergent, about the matter. Proálcool has always been a polemic subject.

Alcohol Revisited

Proálcool served preferentially the sugarcane growers, the national car industry and the high middle class. It is true that the program generated about one million jobs – most of them underemployment – poorly paid, seasonal and highly hazardous. Concurrently, it has generated a neologism: “bóias-frias”. Among the benefits, it is accountable for a certain improvement of environmental conditions in the large cities when it substituted gasoline. The capital sin was that the program never was self-sustaining, namely, it never reached its economic viability. Production cost is still higher than its selling price.

Evaluation of the Alcohol Production Potential

Fuel alcohol production has increased considerably following the important productivity gain since the establishment of Proálcool. The present study shows that the Sector has reacted positively to external stimulations, both from the government and from the fuel market. Production cost has systematically decreased, a remarkable fact in the energy market where all costs are increasing.

The President of the Republic has decorated the former Minister Camilo Penna with the highest decoration

In August 28, 2002 the Engineer Camilo Penna has received the Order of the National Merit in its highest degree, the highest decoration that can be granted to a Brazilian who had stand out and rendered relevant services to the country. At the occasion, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has made a speech that is reproduced here. e&e joins the more than just reverence to this eminent Brazilian who can be considered the main driver of Proálcool but who has given to the country many other important contributions.

New Utopia: Economic Growth in a Democratic and more Just Society or New Utopia 1

We have tried to translate in a concrete way our hope for a Brazilian growth. We have modestly dreamed that the average income per inhabitant doubles in two decades. It does not seem easy but it is worthwhile dreaming about the possible.

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