RENEWABLE ENERGY IS A RESPONSE TO THE DILEMMA OF GROWTH VS CO2 EMISSIONS
CPFL Energia perfected its strategic plan,reinforcing sustainability in its corporateplatform 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 useof natural resources and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, the United Nations Organization estimates that two thirds of the global population,that is 6.3 billion people, will be living in urban centers. Emerging nations with levels of consumption inferior to those of the developed world will have to take the lead in preparing for the corresponding economic expansion,these cities of the future requiring the adoption of sustainable solutions.
In this context, investments in clean energy sources and energy efficiency become still more relevant. According to an International Renewable Energy Agency report, if the share of these sources in the global energy mix were to double to 36% by 2030, the environmental savings would be equivalent to as much as US$ 4.2 trillion. However, countries will have to coordinate their regulatory framework and stimulate the insertion of these alternative sources in their energy matrices if this is to become a reality.
In Brazil, where the average annual electric energy consumption is 2.5thousand kWh per capita – well below the 8.2 thousand kWh per year for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) – the energy matrix contrasting with the majority of the world’s nations.More than 80% of the country’s electricity generation originates from clean sources, the emphasis being on hydroelectric energy, while for a good part of the world, coal is the principal source of energy. The sharp increase in the importance of alternative renewable energy in Brazil has been remarkable. This, in the form of wind,solar and biomass, accounts already for approximately 15% of domestic energy supply, an indication that as Brazilian consumption per capita grows, expansion in demand will be satisfied from renewable energy sources.
Unquestionably, the future in Brazil for renewables is promising. The country already ranks among the ten largest in the world in energy generated from wind farms with 8.6 thousand MW. And there is considerable potential with more than 300 GW of capacity, which can be harnessed over the next few years,equivalent to 21 Itaipu hydroelectric power plants. Again, in solar energy, Aneel, the local electricity regulator,is forecasting that by 2024 nearly 5 million people will be producing their own energy. This source, currently representing less than 0.1% of the energy matrix, may reach as much as 3% in ten years’ time, irrespective of the immense potential for residential and industrial use. By 2050, Brazilian government estimates show that distributed solar generation could account for 118 GW.
The modus operandi adopted by Brazil for renewables has been to reconcile the contracting of energy through auctions with the participation of private sector entities where alternative energy sources play an important role. Wind farms area case in point. This process began in2009 with the launch of annual auctions focused on the contracting of energy from wind farms with the purpose of creating a steady demand for equipment from local manufacturers. The Brazilian Economic Development Bank – BNDES also began granting loans at lower interest rates for financing the acquisition of equipment from manufacturers with a domestic content of more than 60%.
In 2009, the price of energy from wind farms which had cost more than US$ 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 the level of some hydroelectric plants.Brazil had just one wind turbine manufacturer in 2004 but today has about ten with more than 100companies participating in the wind energy 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 corporate platform and prioritizing investment in renewable sources, innovations and the intelligent use of resources. In 2011, it constituted CPFL Renováveis, the latter subsequently launching its IPO on the Stock Exchange in 2013. Today, CPFL Renováveis is Latin America’s largest energy generating company from alternative renewable sources.
Since 2012, we have been investing in intelligent networks; in 2014, we created CPFL Eficiência. More recently,we made our debut in the distributed solar generation market. The aim is to supply solutions which foster rational consumption and the sustainable use of natural resources. This strategy is supported by investments in innovation and R&D projects focused on green technologies such as electric mobility and storage solutions.
As a result, CPFL Energia has achieved a position as one of the leaders in the transition to a low carbon economy in Brazil. This is our contribution towards meeting the targets set by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Under this Agreement, Brazil has pledged to increase the share of alternative renewable energies in the electricity matrix from 10% to 23% by 2030.