Power Quest: Brazil Works to Wipe "Blackout" From the Lexicon
Facing domestic dismay over electricity service and new global attention as a world sporting event host, Brazil seeks energy solutions for a diverse nation.
The word took on multiple meanings for citizens in the world's fifth largest nation after crippling power outages and government-mandated energy rationing in the early 2000s. Any massive failure of government or corporate officialdom-from plane delays to shortages of skilled workers-came to be branded as apagão. In last year's national elections, before Dilma Rousseff won the presidency in a runoff, there was vigorous dispute on Twitter over apagão, and which party had left more people in the dark most often. And last February, when 50 million people lost electricity for hours in the impoverished northeast, Lobão said it should not be considered an apagão, but a "temporary interruption of the electricity supply."
Keenly aware of domestic pressure over reliable electricity service,