Energy in transformation
We are seeing a significant transformation of the role of energy in our society. We need to establish secure, economic and environmentally responsible sources of energy for the future, options that take advantage of unlimited and renewable resources. Many companies already benefit from the new clean energy opportunities, being guided by this transformation. Brazil is a country that is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy. And that successfully uses water resources to generate electricity, as well as employing biofuels as clean and renewable solutions for transportation.
In the country, there is enormous flexibility for expanding the supply of clean energy, exploiting technology in the field of wind, solar and other sources of power. With policies that are adjusted to financing incentives and mechanisms, Brazilian industrial companies and the country’s overall economy are prepared to reap excellent benefits from this global transformation. Around the world, the technical and economic potential of solar, wind, water and other renewable energy sources by far outpace current demand for power. Now, the new situation that is emerging as a result of governmental policies, technological discoveries and financial conditions must be faced to allow us to take full advantage of these abundant energy options.
Nevertheless, there are many crucial barriers that must be overcome so that we can expand this field. For example, the infrastructure necessary to support these systems, such as nationwide networks capable of sustaining, at a reasonable cost, the large penetration of various different resources; a well-trained and growing labor force; adequate regulatory procedures; greater efficiency on the part of consumers; and wider acceptance of the general public and companies.
All of these factors are critical on the road to clean and renewable sources of energy. Innovative technologies in the field of energy have had success in the marketplace, thanks to a variety of positive factors: the growth of sales, which reduces costs through a very favorable “learning curve” (estimated at about 20% over the past three decades); continuous improvements in system efficiencies, which reduces the cost per KW/h produced; innovative business models that take advantage of the unique financing opportunities; and, perhaps most important, favorable official policies that offer an attractive business environment for projects in this segment.
David S Renné - Born in the United States, Renée currently is the president of the International Solar Energy Society (Ises), an organization devoted to the research and prospecting of renewable energy sources, with emphasis on solar power. It has developed initiatives linked to solar, wind and water energy together with the United Nations and the U.S. government and is a project leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Photos: André Valentim