UFSC launches the Center for Solar Energy Research and Training in Florianópolis

The activity was part of the activities of the Seminar Energia + Limpa (“Cleaner Energy”), organized by the Instituto Ideal

Expected to be operational as of July, the Center for Solar Energy Research and Training at the Federal University of Santa Catarina – Photovoltaic/UFSC, must meet one of the main demands to the dissemination of solar energy in Brazil: workforce qualification. Opened on June 1, in Florianópolis, as part of the activities of the 6th Seminar Energia + Limpa (“Cleaner Energy”), organized by the Instituto Ideal and UFSC, the Center is an unprecedented initiative in the state of Santa Catarina. It was built with the financial support of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI).

According to Professor Ricardo Rüther, from UFSC, who is ahead of the implementation of the Center, although there is a significant lack of trained professionals, solar energy is still the segment of renewable energy that creates more jobs worldwide. “In line with the constant search for solutions that make the tariff for solar energy more competitive, training is a condition for the advancement of renewable energies. No wonder that countries like India and the United States invest a great deal in this area, “says Rüther, who is also technical director of Instituto Ideal.
The Center started with a project in 2010, and it will integrate various photovoltaic technologies. Administration, classrooms, laboratories and workshops will be divided into two blocks. The building has a total capacity of 100KWp, and for full operation, the center will use only about 60% of the generated energy. “The rest will be distributed to UFSC’s main campus,” said the professor. About 25 students from the Photovoltaic UFSC Group, coordinated by Rüther, are already working on site, but in the future, four teachers and their teams will be able to use the Center as well.

Rüther also highlighted the project for a solar-powered bus, which is also supported by MCTI and should drive along the UFSC-Sapiens Parque route. “The vehicle will have room for meetings and Internet access.”

During the opening ceremony, the Secretary for Science and Technology for Social Inclusion (Secis) of MCTI, Eron Bezerra, stressed the importance of alternative energy and energy efficiency in the real context of sustainability and independence. “Sustainability is not the same as preservation. The days are numbered for countries that cannot guarantee their independence in the energy sector and do not look into developing renewable energy,” he said.

For the Secretary, teaching and research for development of technologies aligned to reality have great potential to ensure sustainability for the population. The role of the government, in this context, is to encourage research and develop projects. “For 2015, we have R$ 90 million available for funding, at a monthly 3.8% interest rate. We need to narrow the distance between government, research and teaching institutions and private companies so that these funds are well applied”.

According to the Pro-Dean of Research at UFSC, Jamil Assreuy, the Training Center signals the beginning of the construction of the science and technology park of the university in Sapiens Parque, located in the Innovation Route of Florianópolis.

The 6th Seminar Energia+ Limpa (“Cleaner Energy”) 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).