About 85 percent (EIA 2010) of Brazil’s electricity comes from hydropower plants. Recent efforts are expanding the use of hydropower throughout the country and across its Amazonian region. Major programs, both private and in the government, are financing expansion of dams, as well as other transportation infrastructure. The largest infrastructure group in South America, the Initiative For the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA), defines its purpose as an aim to strengthen transport, energy, and communications infrastructure under a regional prospective (IIRSA 2011). Thus presumptuously expanded and new infrastructure is essential to providing a better quality of life. This may be particularly in beneficial South America, where more infrastructure has the ability to provide greater connectivity throughout areas, and expand sources of energy to those without access. This study will analyze these endeavors to suggest whether expanded development achieves its goal in establishing better connectivity and access to energy.

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

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Unpublished Paper

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