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The 'Estudos Avançados' Journal

IEA's journal seeks to fulfill one of the objectives of the institute: to combine academic research and interest in the improvement of the public policies. Referring to the table of contents, it is possible to see that the areas of scientific knowledge included in the issues (89 so far) are directly articulated with essential themes of Brazilian and world society, as poverty, malnutrition and public health system. Some highlights of issue 59 are listed below.

Energy and environment in Brazil

Energy production and use present environmental impacts, but the present consumption patterns can be improved through a more efficient use of energy and a shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. Due to hydroelectricity and bioethanol, Brazil still has a comfortable position compared to the rest of the world. Self-sufficient in oil, the country today discusses how to supply natural gas and electricity in the medium and long terms, with different positions about the path to follow. The present article proposes recommendations, with special focus on the electricity sector.

Hydroelectric, thermal and nuclear generation

The situation of electric energy generation in Brazil is presented here, showing the problems in the implementation of the new model for the Power Sector, as well as in the inclusion of thermal plants in a very big hydroelectric system. Environment issues are considered, in particular the greenhouse gas emissions. The article pays attention to the possible construction of new nuclear reactors in Brazil. It is pointed out the importance of energy conservation and of using renewable energy sources.

Natural gas: the construction of a new civilization

This work discusses the role of natural gas in Brazil and in the world, suggesting that the humanity is building up a kind of Gas Civilization. The text starts with a brief panorama of the international energy reality comparing several scenarios proposed by recognized institutions, and which try to describe possibilities for the future of energy in the planet. Such comparative analysis allows identifying the growing consumption of natural gas as a strong energy trend for the next 20 to 50 years. Then, the concept of Gas Civilization is introduced, presenting some elements justifying it. Following, the article offers a Brazilian perspective of the problem, starting from the historical antecedents of the gas industry in Brazil, and developing a critical vision regarding the future role of the combustible gases in the Brazilian energy mix.

Rational use: the concealed energy source

Modern energy systems are complex exploitation networks of natural resources with successive conversion and energy transportation processes and a high level of losses. These losses constitute a virtual energy source that must be better exploited in order to provide economic and environmental advantages. Here, the concept of energy system loss and the evolution of Brazilian institutional framework to enhance the promotion of a rational use of energy will be presented, as well as the perspectives to reduce energy waste in end uses: domestic refrigeration, residential water heat, light vehicles and cogeneration. The estimated total capacities of electric energy and fuel economy (by consuming sectors) are also presented.