MNEs’ Contribution to Sustainable Energy and Development: The Case of “Light for All” Program in Brazil

Akter, Shaheen; Fu, Xiaolan; Bremermann, Leonardo; Rosa, Mauro; Nattrodt, Valerie; Väätänen, Juha; Teplov, Roman and Khairullina, Iulduz (2017). MNEs’ Contribution to Sustainable Energy and Development: The Case of “Light for All” Program in Brazil. In: Ghauri, Pervez N.; Fu, Xiaolan and Väätänen, Juha eds. Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development. International Business and Management, 33. Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 195–224.



Access to affordable and sustainable energy is crucial for the improvement of the well-being of modern societies. Most energy technologies require comparatively high up-front investment, which adds to the challenge of electrification, despite the recognized multiple benefits. Partnership with multinational enterprises (MNEs) can provide necessary investment in infrastructure, finance, and technology for renewable energy and contribute to improving development indicators. However, remote areas with poor infrastructure do not have access to MNEs that are profit seekers. The Brazil experience with MNEs and "Light for All" (LfA) program shows that people gaining access to electricity invest more in businesses, education, health, and women reduce their drudgery at household chores. However, areas having a poor infrastructure in the north remain out of electricity, and attempts to create universal access were failed until a regulatory incentive framework and particular attention from the government was established. This is a great learning for the developing countries aiming to achieve sustainable development goals. A host country can gain development cooperation from MNEs with rightly formulated and implemented policies and regulatory conditions.

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