Greentech Lead America: Smart grid investments in Brazil
will reach $36.6 billion by 2022.
Utilities in Brazil will use the smart grid investments
to help reduce electricity theft, improve the reliability of electric
infrastructure, offer new pricing plans for customers and enable economic
Brazil’s growing economy is straining the existing
electric infrastructure and smart grid investments will be critical to address
the many challenges facing the sector. Brazil, with the fifth largest
population in the world, is eager to upgrade its infrastructure in the run-up
to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics when it will be on the world
“A significant problem in Brazil is the high rate of
electricity theft. This is both a public safety issue and also unfairly
requires paying customers to subsidize those stealing power. Smart meters are
very effective tools in helping reduce electricity theft,” according to a
study by Northeast Group.
Smart metering – or advanced metering infrastructure
(AMI) – will be the smart grid program leading the way in Brazil. The
centerpiece of Brazil’s smart grid plans is a target set by ANEEL, the
Brazilian electricity regulator, to deploy 63 million AMI meters by 2021.
Detailed regulations are expected within the next year
and these will drive large-scale AMI deployments across the country. In
addition, distribution automation, home energy management and other smart grid
technologies are expected to grow in Brazil over the coming decade.
Establishing the regulatory framework will be the
catalyst for large-scale AMI deployments. But even in advance of these
regulations, Brazilian utilities have been very active in piloting AMI.
Almost all of the utilities have piloted AMI in some form
and five of the largest utility groups with non-technical losses above 14
percent found that AMI deployments can bring immediate benefits by reducing
Several Brazilian utilities are even already
experimenting with full-scale ‘smart city’ concepts that leverage a number of
smart grid applications, such as distributed renewable generation and
sophisticated home area networks.