Experts criticize vulnerability of Brazilian energy matrix

The Energia + Limpa (“Cleaner Energy”) Seminar, sponsored by the Instituto Ideal, has also discussed the challenges to the growth of renewable sources of energy.

Challenges to long-term energy planning in Brazil was one of the central themes addressed by the panelists of the opening panel of the 6th Energia + Limpa (“Cleaner Energy”) Seminar, which brought together leaders of Brazil’s energy industry in Florianópolis on Tuesday (6). In their point of view, a greater involvement of civil society is required in the government’s decisions about the future of the energy matrix, because the country will need to increase its energy generation capacity in the coming years while ensuring the resilience of the electrical grid.

The executive coordinator of the project Fundo Verde (“Green Fund”) and professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Suzana Kahn, stressed the importance of renewable sources of energy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and also the need to decarbonize energy generation as a whole. Kahn warned of the risks of not diversifying the energy matrix, and highlighted that energy security requires structural measures. “You have to integrate and coordinate initiatives that are very isolated at present. We need to move on from the pilot phase so that we can develop a specific policy for the future, “he said.

With 80% of its energy matrix based on hydroelectric power until the year 2000, Brazil had to seek energy alternatives to the current water crisis. According to André Ferreira, representative of the NGO network Observatório do Clima (“Climate Observatory”), this has led to an increased offer, although still incipient, of alternative sources of energy. “The main source tends to remain the hydroelectric power plants, but with an increased focus on the Amazon region. For the advancement of renewable sources of energy, the challenge lies in defining a long-term plan and implement possible scenarios, in a constructive and instructive manner”, he says.

For the coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Center for Energy Planning, State University of Campinas, Gilberto Januzzi, a way to increase the share of alternative sources, and thereby increase the diversity of the matrix, is to develop new business models for the energy industry. Faced with many questions of the audience about the role of the government in encouraging the adoption of alternative sources such as photovoltaic distributed generation, the coordinator of the Climate Change and Energy of Program-WWF Brazil, André Nahur, stressed the need to develop a low carbon economy based on third sector initiatives. “Energy development is also a social issue, so you need to engage and empower society, so that we can join forces with the government and the private sector,” he said.

Organized by Instituto Ideal at the Federation of Industries of the State of Santa Catarina (FIESC), the event attracted more than 300 participants, including students, researchers, members of the private sector and energy industry enthusiasts. “The mission of sustainability has no boundaries and is a commitment to the whole society”, stressed the president of Instituto Ideal, Mauro Passos, at the opening ceremony, attended by the Vice-President of Regional Affairs of FIESC for the Southeast Region, Tito Alfredo Schmitt; the President of the Energy Affairs Bureau of FIESC, Otmar Josef Müller; the State Secretary for Sustainable Development of Santa Catarina (SDS), Carlos Chiodini; the state representative Dresch Dirceu (Labor Party); the CEO of Eletrosul, Marcio Zimmermann; and the director of KFW in Brazil, Carsten Sandhop.

The event was supported by FIESC and the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development, through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and sponsored by the following institutions and companies: Brazilian Development Bank for Southern Brazil (BRDE), Araxá Energia Solar, Solar Energy do Brazil, Celesc, Box, Eletrobras Eletrosul and Tractebel. Furthermore, the event has the institutional support of Ambiente Energia, Electricity Trade Chamber (CCEE), Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica), Brazilian Association of Energy Traders (Abraceel) and the Brazilian Council for Sustainable Construction (CBCS).

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