Today’s Energetic Model

by Gilberto Cervinski, of MAB’s National Coordination Energetic Model has different meanings for those who are in antagonistic positions. For us, Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), “model” means […]

by Gilberto Cervinski, of MAB’s National Coordination

Energetic Model has different meanings for those who are in antagonistic positions. For us, Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), “model” means the Energetic Policy necessary for the development of the productive forces which serves the conjunct of the nation with respect to environment and national sovereignty. For the sectors which controls energy in Brazil, the Energetic model refers to the sources/matrix of the production of energy. Because for these sectors the finality of energy is to attend the market demand and the voracity of large companies which controls the electricity industry, intensive-electricity-using industries which increases their productivity at any cost.

It is undeniable that energy is the locomotive of development of the productive forces. It’s importance is strategically related to the production of value in capitalist society. In actual society, energy is central for the reproduction of capital, because is used as a form to accelerate the productivity of the work of the labours.

There is concordance that Energy is necessary for the generation of richness, that the productive chain generates work and that the energy enables well being of people. It is also evident that the production of energy presume sources for its generation and that today, at the actual conditions of production of electricity the hydro-power have been “more efficient” when compared with other sources of electricity production. By highlighting these arguments, however, those who control the industry omit for whom and for what is this electricity intended.

The actual energetic model, standard and which has authoritarian heritage is predominately technocratic and neoliberal, at service of the transnational corporations and its development. The public goods are in favour of the interests of the minority, with predominance of the financial sector and its mechanisms. This models affects enormously the populations, at the city and countryside, as well as turns the work at the sector precarious (outsourcing), uses the workers at constructions in conditions of semi-slavery, the bills goes to housing users and produces social-environmental impacts at local, regional and international level.

Energy is seen as a commodity and not as a public good. By this produces serious injustices. This logic, which persist at the generation, transmission and distribution of energy, does not cares with social-environmental sustainability, but only with the economic “progress”measured by its final yield and dressed in at the per capita income which hides who really appropriates the wealth. More: the current energy policy in the name of development, advances into the heritage that belongs to future generations; exporting our resources to rich countries is ethically an assault to new generations.

Currently, who controls energy is the speculative international capital, transnational companies which controls the national energetic sector and appropriates the results. Corporations as Suez Tractebel, AES, Odebrecht, Queiroz Galvão, Iberdrola, Vale, Alcoa, Billiton, Alstom, Siemens, etc.

This control has come in Brazil within privatization in the 90’s. Currently, even state companies are in hands of private capital. For example: 60% of Eletrobrás; 80% of CEMIG; 65% of Cesp.

The structures of the state are captured by private companies. The regulatory agencies, Ministry of Mining and Energy, Planning company and even state companies are at service of the entrepreneurs.

Many laws and structures of the State which tries to depoliticise the debate on energy, as if its a matter of “technique and neutral issues”. The National Agency of Electric Energy – ANEEL, questionable regulatory agency in terms of functions and behaviour is part of a strategy and instrument to serve to the entrepreneurs. It is the centre where the model is legalized.

The BNDES – National Bank of Economic and Social Development is the main financier of the plants, which re-passes public money to transnational companies, while state companies are prohibit to have the majority of the auctions of the plant. This way, the structures of the state behave against social interests.

The commodification of energy, through the private model, transformed energy main business of private sectors. It is implemented a system of fare which stimulates a false competition. The fares have been internationalized, Brazilian electricity prices began to be linked to the cost of thermal energy. Our rates were raised to international levels, far from the reality of the production costs of our country. Currently the energy in Brazil is 25% more expensive than in France, where 76% is nuclear matrix, ie, with production costs much higher.

The sell of electric energy transformed the main business of this sector, because now the profit of the bussines-owners which controls energy does not come only out of the exploitation of electricity workers, but also of 60 millions of houses. The housing users pays the bills. Meanwhile, the large consumers (industries of intensive use of electricity) receive cheap energy to produce and to export, without paying any cost, because they are exempt by the Kandir law. To change this model, it is necessary to change the system of fares.

The workers of the sector are highly productive and exploited. To have an idea, the workers of AES Tietê produced in 2012, circa of R$ 2,3 million of profit per worker. There is an intensification of exploitation on the electricity sector. The private and state enterprises are seeking to lower the earnings of the workers to one the lowest levels worldwide. There is an intense process of restructuring work to increase productivity through layoffs, outsourcing, and increased precarious journey, and the incorporation of new technologies that accelerate planned obsolescence. This reflects directly at the quality of energy service.

The extraordinary wealth generated with energy, in different areas, has not been reversed to the benefit of Brazilian people. What we see are remittances growing profit to shareholders, while the public service and the situation of workers deteriorates even more. The profits are extraordinary and everything is sent through remittances of dividends (100%). AES Tietê has average profit of 43.5%. Five companies (Eletropaulo and Tietê, Suez Tractebel, Cemig and CPFL) had, in the past seven years, total profit of R $ 45.7 billion and R $ 40.7 billion remitted to its shareholders. 
Rivers are the most desired territory and disputed by the corporations that control the electricity industry. As hydro-power technology is the more rentable compared to other sources, increases the world dispute to control the best spaces and to extract surpluses. Our territory is the focus of international dispute of capital, because it concentrates the main strategic reserves ” high base of natural productivity.” Brazil has the largest and best rivers and water reserves for electricity generation, 260 000 MW, of which only 30% have been used until now. Latin America has the potential of 730,000 MW.

We believe that the central issue on energy is its policy. The energy model. We do not want to discuss only the matrix, despite its importance. Acting in energy policy requires decisively focus in the planning, organization and control of production, energy distribution, and control over the generated wealth and over high natural productive strategic energy reserves.

MAB’s National Meeting lemma is, “Water and energy with sovereignty, richness distribution and popular control ”, represents the synthesis of the energy project we defend.

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| Publicado 21/12/2023 por Coletivo de Comunicação MAB PI

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