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HydropoliticsThe Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America$
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Christine Folch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691186603

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691186603.001.0001

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(p.128) 4 Debt

Christine Folch

Princeton University Press

This chapter uncovers the development of the Itaipú debt. It begins with the historical development of the debt and the transformation wrought on state institutions as Eletrobras metamorphosed into a creditor, uncovering how the multiplex nature of state institutions is connected to renewable energy requirements. A “multiplex” is a channel or circuit along which multiple signals are simultaneously sent, an analogy from telegraphy that applies to the Itaipú debt. After piecing together a biography of the debt, the chapter turns to a more ethnographic exploration of how Itaipú debt origin stories function based on ideas of interest. It also explains how the infrastructure of renewable energy and hydroelectric potential serve as state-owned collateral.

Keywords:   Itaipú Dam, Eletrobras, renewable energy, debt, state-owned collateral

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