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RENEWABLE ENERGY IS A RESPONSE TO THE DILEMMA OF GROWTH VS CO2 EMISSIONS

By g20portal

CPFL Energia perfected its strategic plan,reinforcing sustainability in its corporate platform and prioritizing investment in renewable sources, innovations and the intelligent use of resources.

The energy sector is playing a crucial role in the sustainable development of the planet this century. At a time of transition to a low carbon economy, the key challenge will be to balance growth in energy demand with the rational use of natural resources and the reduction ingreenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, theUnited Nations Organization estimatesthat two thirds of the global population,that is 6.3 billion people, will be livingin urban centers. Emerging nationswith levels of consumption inferior tothose of the developed world will haveto take the lead in preparing for thecorresponding economic expansion,these cities of the future requiring theadoption of sustainable solutions.

In this context, investments in cleanenergy sources and energy effi ciencybecome still more relevant. Accordingto an International Renewable EnergyAgency report, if the share of thesesources in the global energy mix were todouble to 36% by 2030, the environmentalsavings would be equivalent to as muchas US$ 4.2 trillion. However, countrieswill have to coordinate their regulatoryframework and stimulate the insertion ofthese alternative sources in their energymatrices if this is to become a reality.

In Brazil, where the average annualelectric energy consumption is 2.5thousand kWh per capita – well belowthe 8.2 thousand kWh per year formembers of the Organization forEconomic Cooperation and Development(OECD) – the energy matrix contrastingwith the majority of the world’s nations.More than 80% of the country´selectricity generation originates fromclean sources, the emphasis beingon hydroelectric energy, while for agood part of the world, coal is theprincipal source of energy. The sharpincrease in the importance of alternativerenewable energy in Brazil has beenremarkable. This, in the form of wind,solar and biomass, accounts alreadyfor approximately 15% of domesticenergy supply, an indication that asBrazilian consumption per capita grows, expansion in demand will be satisfiedfrom renewable energy sources.

Unquestionably, the future in Brazil forrenewables is promising. The countryalready ranks among the ten largestin the world in energy generated fromwind farms with 8.6 thousand MW. Andthere is considerable potential with morethan 300 GW of capacity, which canbe harnessed over the next few years,equivalent to 21 Itaipu hydroelectricpower plants. Again, in solar energy,Aneel, the local electricity regulator,is forecasting that by 2024 nearly 5 million people will be producing theirown energy. This source, currentlyrepresenting less than 0.1% of the energymatrix, may reach as much as 3% in tenyears’ time, irrespective of the immensepotential for residential and industrialuse. By 2050, Brazilian governmentestimates show that distributed solargeneration could account for 118 GW.

The modus operandi adopted by Brazilfor renewables has been to reconcile thecontracting of energy through auctionswith the participation of private sectorentities where alternative energy sources play an important role. Wind farms area case in point. This process began in2009 with the launch of annual auctionsfocused on the contracting of energyfrom wind farms with the purpose ofcreating a steady demand for equipmentfrom local manufacturers. The BrazilianEconomic Development Bank – BNDESalso began granting loans at lowerinterest rates for financing the acquisitionof equipment from manufacturers with adomestic content of more than 60%.

In 2009, the price of energy fromwind farms which had cost more thanUS$ 57.08/MWh (US$ 1.00 = R$ 3.46)at the beginning of the decade,plummeted to US$ 39.07/MWh.Currently, this price is close to thelevel of some hydroelectric plants.Brazil had just one wind turbinemanufacturer in 2004 but todayhas about ten with more than 100companies participating in the windenergy manufacturing and supply chain,many of these companies, foreign.

As part of this global context, in 2009,CPFL Energia perfected its strategic plan,reinforcing sustainability in its corporateplatform and prioritizing investment inrenewable sources, innovations and theintelligent use of resources. In 2011, itconstituted CPFL Renováveis, the lattersubsequently launching its IPO on theStock Exchange in 2013. Today, CPFLRenováveis is Latin America’s largestenergy generating company fromalternative renewable sources.

Since 2012, we have been investingin intelligent networks; in 2014, wecreated CPFL Eficiência. More recently,we made our debut in the distributedsolar generation market. The aim is tosupply solutions which foster rationalconsumption and the sustainable useof natural resources. This strategy issupported by investments in innovationand R&D projects focused on greentechnologies such as electric mobilityand storage solutions.

As a result, CPFL Energia has achieveda position as one of the leaders in thetransition to a low carbon economy inBrazil. This is our contribution towardsmeeting the targets set by the ParisAgreement on Climate Change. Underthis Agreement, Brazil has pledgedto increase the share of alternativerenewable energies in the electricitymatrix from 10% to 23% by 2030.

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