Smart Grids are critical components of Smart Cities. Looking to the future, Brazil is currently making smart grid investments to help improve the reliability of electric infrastructure, and enable economic growth and environmental sustainability. With current electricity demand projections, Brazil’s smart grid investments are estimated to reach $36.6 billion by 2022.
Smart Grids add reliability to the infrastructure underlying most city systems, but even more importantly they help us understand demand and consumption patterns to optimize the generation and use of energy resources. With cities consuming 75% of the world’s energy and producing more than 80% of greenhouse gases, the prudent use of energy is more important than ever.
Already, electricity providers are using advanced technologies and devices such as sensors, meters, digital controls and analytics tools to better monitor and manage peaks and troughs in power consumption and generation. Additionally, a higher level of insight can be used to reduce the risk of system failures and blackouts and manage demand more optimally. This is what Smart Grids are all about.
In an effort to monitor energy consumption, add resiliency to the power grid, and improve customer service, Brazil is working to deploy approximately 63 million smart meters by 2021. CPFL Energia Holdings, Brazil’s largest privately owned energy provider, is working with IBM on a smart meter data management project to reach that goal, identify energy faults and losses, help allocate outages and disconnect services faster.
The use of smart grids is additionally expected to solve a number of problems that the country is facing regarding its electricity production. For example, it is estimated that as much as 20 percent of electricity output is illegally tapped from power lines. By tracking consumption, smart meters can help to ensure reliability and detect loss or theft. Additionally, the use of smart grids will help the Brazilian cities monitor and manage the expected increased demand for energy services to citizens and tourists during the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to existing smart grid projects, Brazil is also focusing on changing the way power is generated with a goal to have 75 percent of electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
The original article can be found in the Intelligent Utility website here.