The unsustainability of energy model of brazil

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The unsustainability of energy model of brazil

  1. 1. THE UNSUSTAINABILITY OF ENERGY MODEL OF BRAZIL Fernando Alcoforado * Brazil is currently facing two major threats in the energy industry: 1) blackouts in the power sector, and, 2) shortage of fuel. These threats arise, on one hand, the lack of integrated planning of the energy sector in Brazil and on the other, the problems related to the operations of the electric system and the production of fuels (petroleum and natural gas) and ethanol. The lack of an integrated energy planning in Brazil results from the fact that the electricity sector and the oil sector being dominated by authentic feuds that impede rational use of energy sources. The planning of electrical and oil sectors is performed separately in relation to each other. In the electricity sector, both hydro and nuclear and conventional power plants using fossil fuels are the plans of the federal government for the supply of electricity in the country until 2035. Instead of concentrate production of electricity by large hydropower plants as required under the 2030 Plan, the policy of producing electricity in hydroelectric plants of small or medium sized and distributed to markets near the sources of production should be adopted . If these production sources are not sufficient, there should be complementary to the use of wind turbines and photovoltaic or thermo solar energy which justify its implementation and conventional power plants using natural gas that is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. Nuclear power plants, in turn, should be abandoned as an energy alternative for security problems. The planning of the electricity sector should be geared to decentralize and diversify the electric system to ensure continuity of supply of electricity and avoid blackouts. The solutions are twofold: greater decentralization of the system and increase the redundancy of the protection system because it is missing a dual protection. José Goldemberg explains that examples of other countries that have managed to efficiently interconnect the power grid can be taken, as is the case of Spain that has decentralized energy sources. There are lots of uses wind energy, for example. And there are more than 10,000 energy sources across the country. Therefore, the vulnerability of the system decreases. Alongside this effort should be a priority in energy saving policy in all sectors of the country's activity and the use of cogeneration in industry in order to produce heat and electricity with the use of waste in industrial production and natural gas. Successive "blackouts" that are occurring in the Brazilian electrical system can be assigned to 5 factors : 1) the fall in water level in the reservoirs of hydroelectric plants which contributes to the reduction of electricity production in the country, 2) lack of proper coordination the protection that has not been able to isolate the problem in the area affected system preventing the spread of the "blackout" , 3) lack of dual protection system in critical areas that can be triggered in the event of faults in the electrical system, 4) lack appropriate service maintenance to minimize the occurrence of faults in the electrical system, and 5) lack of supply emergency power systems in critical areas 1
  2. 2. that can be triggered when the "blackout" occurs in the interconnected power system in Brazil. Regarding the protection of the electrical system, it should consist of protective equipment that would act only in the area that is to act, ie, they should be located at convenient points mains to ensure the minimization of supply interruptions energy. Protective equipment should be properly coordinated with each other so that each operates at the scheduled time. The spread of a "blackout" can happen if the safety equipment are not properly coordinated. This may have occurred in the recent "blackouts" recorded in Brazil. If the protection system of the electrical system in Brazil was doubled the chance of "blackouts" would be reduced significantly, given that protective gear fails the other would be triggered to prevent the spread of the problem. Instead of adopting a planning process of the electricity sector on a rational basis, the federal government took the decision in 2013 to reduce the electricity tariff which helped to encourage greater consumption of electricity and the rising cost of electricity supply using of thermal to avoid rationing that will bring negative economic impacts on the financial health of companies in the industry considering that will lower revenue and increased costs resulting in cash flow problems. At first, the injury was covered enterprises with funds from the National Treasury. In 2014, electricity distributors may make a loss of $ 15 billion, according to calculations by Abradee (Brazilian Association of Electricity Distributors). This very high cost to the distributors will inevitably reach for the consumer if the corporate rate to the taxpayer or the National Treasury to cover the losses of companies. As for the oil industry, the press is heralding the possibility of fuel shortages in the country The prospect of fuel shortages in Brazil is due to three factors: 1) record the consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel, 2) the lack of internal capacity production, and 3) problems of infrastructure for storage and distribution. To avoid shortages in the country due to high domestic demand, Petrobras has been importing more and more gasoline. Instead of adopting a rational plan for the oil sector with the adoption of solutions that contribute to reducing the consumption of petroleum products and the use of substitutes for gasoline and diesel in the transport sector and fuel oil in industry the federal government favors imports of gasoline and diesel to meet demand. Moreover, to combat inflation undermines the financial health of this company Petrobras preventing to adopt a pricing policy of derivatives similar to the global oil market. Among the substitutes for gasoline and diesel in the transport sector may be cited as ethanol and biodiesel . The most appropriate substitute for fuel oil in industry would be natural gas because it is the cleanest of fossil fuels despite the country's dependence on imports of the fossil energy input source. Besides the use of these substitutes for petroleum products should be a major effort by automakers for cars and trucks in order to raise the efficiency of motor vehicles to save energy. In parallel, another action towards the expansion of rail systems and waterways for freight transport in trucks and the replacement of public transport should be implemented, especially the mass 2
  3. 3. transport of high capacity as the subway, to reduce car usage in cities. Another important initiative would be to restrict the use of cars in city centers. A rational energy planning in Brazil requires the use of renewable energy that should have greater participation in the Brazilian energy matrix, and to adopt policies for energy saving. To reverse this current situation, the federal government has to adopt a new paradigm in the strategic planning of the energy sector, as well as ensuring the participation of states, municipalities and civil society in the planning process so that renewables, political economy energy and the demands of local development in the energy sector are considered. This would be the way to enable the achievement of sustainability of the energy sector in Brazil and avoid shortages of electricity and fuel. * Alcoforado, Fernando, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona, http://www.tesisenred.net/handle/10803/1944, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others. 3

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