Energy systems of the future in Brazil (ESZ)

Project description

Title: Energy Systems of the Future
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Brazil 
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), Ministério de Minas e Energia (MME)
Overall term: 2016 to 2024

Installing photovoltaic modules at a SENAI training centre

Context

Brazil’s per capita energy consumption is expected to increase by 18 per cent from 2019 to 2029. The country already procures a large share of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Of this, 60 per cent is from hydroelectric power, while 20 per cent falls to other sources such as wind, biomass and photovoltaics. 

However, the large share of hydropower also brings challenges with it, which are exacerbated by climate change and periods of drought. Currently, regular bottlenecks occur that are compensated with fossil fuels. This, in turn, is leading to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and higher energy prices. Brazil is therefore planning to expand other renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power and to increase its energy efficiency.

Forecasts project that the share of wind and solar power will multiply significantly. However, the expansion also presents new challenges for the planning, operation and regulation of the energy and electricity sector. This is because wind and solar power depend on meteorological factors and fluctuate accordingly. Moreover, the electricity has to be transported across great distances – the greatest wind-energy potential is in the north-east of the country, while the main centres of consumption are far away in the south-east.

Sufficiently qualified workers are also required to plan and implement investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency and to ensure optimum operation.

Objective

The conditions for systematic integration of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency into the Brazilian energy system are improved. 

Energy-efficient lighting for cities and municipalities

Approach

The project is supporting Brazil in making use of the enormous potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency. To this end, it provides advice on strategy development to ministries, authorities, banks and public institutions, and support for establishing management and cooperation structures. It also delivers expertise for energy planning, regulation and the development of new business models. The project is also promoting cooperation between public and private companies in the energy sector, thereby facilitating the sharing of technologies and expertise.

The project is also working with vocational training institutions and universities to (further) develop educational and training programmes. This will expand the range of courses for occupations in wind and solar power and energy efficiency, which had previously been sporadic. In doing so, the project is promoting the formation of national networks involving teachers, scientists and business representatives.

A wind energy expert

Results

The Ministry of Mines and Energy (Ministério de Minas e Energia, MME) and the organisation of Brazilian cooperatives (Organização das Cooperativas do Brasil, OCB) have established a cooperative model for decentralised electricity generation together with the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV). To date, 19 cooperatives have been founded to generate energy. 

In 2020, two extendible and accessible learning networks were launched. One of them concentrates on energy efficiency and decentralised energy generation in public buildings. The other is concerned with energy management in industries.

A pilot study has been developed with the MME, the Brazilian Energy Research Office (EPE) and the national operator of the electricity grid. This shows how supply security can be ensured despite a rapidly expanding share of fluctuating energy sources. 

The project has enhanced the education programme. The Ministry of Education, the Federal Network of Vocational, Scientific and Technological Education Institutions (Rede Federal de Educação Profissional, Científica e Tecnológica), the National Service for Industrial Training (Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial, SENAI) and universities were involved in this. There was a focus on modernising courses of study and adding new course content on electromobility and digitalisation, which are in great demand in business. In the period from 2016 to 2020, 650 teachers and around 4,600 experts received training. 

The project supported SENAI with establishing ten new training centres for photovoltaics. Equipment was provided with the help of a partnership with companies. The project provided both specialist support and training courses. 
At the end of 2020, the Ministry of Education (Ministério da Educação, MEC) formalised the national EnergIF programme for vocational training and applied research. This takes up and continues the work conducted thus far in a government programme. The MEC has already invested around EUR 12 million in new photovoltaic systems at vocational schools and universities of applied sciences and some EUR 500,000 in training workshops.

As at: May 2021