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Transitioning to renewables: Learning from neighbours

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NAPREI (Nucleo de Pesquisas em Redes Eléctricas Inteligentes – Research Institute for intelligent electricity grids) of the University of Sao Paulo

Peruvian public electricity distribution companies travel to Brazil to gain insights into the latest smart grid trends

April 12, 2022

Propelled by economic growth, energy demand in Peru is growing at around 10% annually. In an effort to shift away from traditional sources such as oil and gas and tap into the country’s potential, the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) has been pushing the agenda of investment in renewables in recent years.

Building on this momentum, MINEM together with German development cooperation, implemented by GIZ, launched the Power Supply 4.0 project in 2019 to tackle the lack of incentives for using energy from renewables and support public utility firms who lack the necessary resources to modernise. The project’s primary goal is to improve the regulatory, institutional and technical conditions for the take up of renewable energy and energy efficient solutions among public electricity distribution companies (EDCs) in Peru. NIRAS is leading two of four components in the project and directly supporting three EDCs with the development of pilot projects and business models to encourage their transformation into smart grid companies.

A smart grid is an electricity network enabling a two-way flow of electricity and data with digital communications technology enabling to detect, react and pro-act to changes in usage and multiple issues. Smart grids have self-healing capabilities and enable electricity customers to become active participants.

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The group visiting BYD (e-mobility and PV-modules)

Knowledge exchange across the border

Representatives from three EDCs ‒ ELOR in the Amazon region, Hidrandina on the coast, and Seal in the Andes ‒ joined MINEM staff on a technological tour to Brazil to learn from the experiences of companies and institutions in smart grid development in the cities of Campinas and Sao Paulo.

Starting with a visit to BYD, a company that has made significant progress in the manufacture of photovoltaic panels and the development of electromobility in Brazil, participants learned about the firm’s success in locally manufacturing of buses for public transport, trucks for waste collection, and other types of public service vehicles.  On the same day, the group visited the University of Campinas, where a multidisciplinary team of researchers presented the Sustainable Campus project. This project integrates electromobility, control and monitoring of the grid, public lighting and distributed generation, all within a university infrastructure ecosystem. The following day the group visited CPQD, an important technology centre in Campinas that focuses on the development and innovation of business models and technologies for the development of smart grids in Brazil. Finally, in the city of Sao Paulo, there was the opportunity to learn about Engie's experience in energy management in commercial buildings and industries, including other lines of business consistent with energy efficiency and the integration of renewable energies. The technology tour concluded with a visit to the University of Sao Paulo and its NAPREI research centre, where participants were briefed on the institution’s work in electrical network simulation.

 

During the trip, I have learned a lot and identified several opportunities for our organisation to continue its transformation efforts towards a smart grid company. It has also helped me to identify our training needs, especially at the technical staff level.

Néstor del Castillo, CCO Electroriente

Positive feedback and future collaboration

The study trip was considered a great success considering the relevance of the companies and institutions visited, the diversity of the topics covered, the sufficiency and technical quality of the presentations and, above all, the opportunity to see the application of the technologies in the field and thus identify opportunities for application in their local contexts.

César Chuyes, Chief Corporate Officer of Hidrandina, commented: "I see enormous opportunities in the development of electrical network automation and the simulation of operational scenarios. The knowledge acquired will undoubtedly help me to strengthen our expectations to move forward with electromobility and distributed generation."

In addition to the technical content, participants really appreciated to get to know each other and the EDC representatives exchanged views on their respective pilot projects, which could lead to future collaboration. There was also agreement among the EDCs on the identification of topics where project cooperation could be oriented, such as, for example, the training of middle management staff on the subject of smart grids, support in the deployment of smart meters (particularly interoperability) and the need to generate links between the EDCs and research institutions and universities in Peru that will allow them to deepen the level of analysis for decision-making.

Get in touch

Frank Theil

Frank Theil

Sector Lead Energy/ Project Manager Energy and Ur

Stuttgart, Germany