The environmental licensing process adopted in Brazil for the electrical sector is based on the Environmental Impact Study and Report (EIA-RIMA). However, these studies often present important weaknesses on the identification of impacts or on the proposal of technological alternatives. This study analyzed a set of EIA-RIMAs for electricity generation projects in Brazil. The most common energy sources and technologies used in the country were identified and the most relevant environmental and social impacts were properly mapped. Using the ExternE methodology, a comparative study was then attempted, aiming at (i) identifying socio-economic aspects not considered in RIMAs and (ii) analysing the feasibility of inclusion of externalities valuation approaches in the process. In addition, a review of the environmental licensing regulatory framework is analysed to evaluate its suitability to deal with the specificities of the electric sector. It was verified that there are some points of convergence between the evaluation performed within EIA-RIMAs, in Brazil, and that performed by the European model (ExternE project).