Abstract for: From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy: The Dynamics of Replacement in Brazil

The widespread replacement of fossil fuel for biofuels led to a discussion on its potential side effects. Despite the consequences of biofuels are still in discussion, some authors suggest biofuels should be taxed so as to guarantee food safety as well as for other reasons. Others suggest biofuels should be banished. Brazilian ethanol seems to have reached independence on government subsidies and is now an economic activity in Brazil. The maturity of this independence has been achieved due a new technology the flex fuel electronic injection. But before this new technology the ethanol program suffered from a severe decline of demand, with relevant economic and social consequences. This paper explores the dynamics of the periods of growth and decline of the PROALCOOL program in Brazil, in order to generate insights to support public politics as well as to contribute to academic community discussions. (1970 to 2002). Multiple information sources were used to structure a theory to explain the dynamics of a period of growth followed by a decline of usage of ethanol in Brazil. Results permit to conclude that a sudden change in politics actions, charging biofuels can lead to a fuel shortage and some relevant social and economic consequences.