The Electricity Market in Brazil: A Multilevel Perspective of Sector Agents for Liberalization to Residential Consumers

Heloísa Pereira Burin*, Flavio S. Fogliatto, Juliana Hsuan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The Brazilian electricity market is in the liberalization phase, and residential consumers are not yet allowed to access the free energy grid, having only the option of buying energy from the regulated market at government-regulated tariffs. This study investigates the barriers that hinder the liberalization of the free energy market in Brazil, the role played by each agent in the transition, and the drivers for the participation of residential consumers in this market. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were carried out with experts from the Brazilian electricity sector; findings were analyzed from a multilevel perspective and discussed in light of the literature. Results showed that the free energy market should operate through the interaction of the system levels, i.e., governmental, market, and societal. However, there are still barriers to be overcome, most remarkably the market's complexity, lack of investments in technologies and accessible information, instability in prices paid for the energy, and the population's lack of knowledge about the free market. As for consumers, they should be motivated by the search for more affordable prices, alternatives from renewable sources, and better contractual conditions. Our study provides perspectives and recommendations to assist in designing strategies to liberalize a complex market with unique characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101289
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Free energy market
  • Electricity sector
  • Residential consumers
  • Qualitative approach
  • Multilevel perspective

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