Energy Efficiency in Brazil

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This article informs about the activities that were developed in Brazil to disseminate energy efficiency to different stakeholders under the project Energy Systems of the Future[1].  The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME)[2] is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)[3].

Municipal Street Lighting

Since brazilian’s electricity sector regulatory body (ANEEL) passed the Normative Resolutions 414[4], from 2010, and 479[5], from 2012, Brazilian municipalities are responsible for street lighting. That means they should give proper maintenance, operation, expansion, improvements and provision of customer services, which were before under responsibility of utilities.

Being a recent change, lots of municipal public managers and mayors have questions on how to execute energy efficiency (EE) on this area. On the other hand, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), through the Department of Energy Development - DDE / SPE, is responsible for the conception and coordination of Governmental Programs and Public Policies of EE, including street lighting. 

That is why MME, supported by GIZ, decided to publish a booklet to orientate municipal public managers about the opportunities of EE in street lighting. The publication explains how to run an EE project, how to access funds, what is the EE Program and other relevant information regarding this issue.[6]

The booklet “Municipal public street Lighting – Public Programs and Policies” is available here (only in Portuguese).

Interactive Guide for Energy Efficiency in Buildings

According to the National Energy Balance (EPE, 2017)[7], the current consumption of electricity in buildings represents 51% of the total consumption in the country. It is estimated that energy efficiency retrofits or the construction of buildings designed to be more efficient can lead to a reduction of 30 to 50% of their energy consumption. These numbers demonstrate the great potential to reduce energy consumption in buildings, with space for investments in the sector.

Aiming to raise awareness about the energy efficiency potential in the building sector, the Construction Industry Union of Sao Paulo (SindusCon-SP) in partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and the support of GIZ developed an interactive guide which brings recommendations for companies regarding this issue.[8]

The guide offers comprehensive technical knowledge to stakeholders of the building sector that search for more energy efficient construction. It simplifies and demystifies energy efficiency strategies, systems and technologies, bringing relevant solutions to new buildings, retrofits and small improvements in existing buildings.

The online app was launched in December 2018 and can be reached at

Reconditioned Engines Workshops

The annual losses of electric energy in refurbished engines would be sufficient to meet the demand of more than 3.6 million homes in Brazil, according to assessments of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). Therefore, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) created a Reconditioned Engines Working Group in 2017, which discusses issues such as the current state of the industry in Brazil, strategies of dissemination of good practices, standardization and market researches needed.

As part of the actions, the working group promoted a series of workshops to discuss the issue, with the support of GIZ. The first workshop was held on September 2018 in SENAI-Indaiatuba (SP) and was organized by CEPEL, ELETROBRAS, SENAI, PUC Rio and ProCobre.  At the time, the working group’s coordinator, George Soares, recalled that electric motors account for ¼ of the total Brazilian electric consumption, being, therefore, the segment of greater consumption. And even with a long lifespan (average 17 years) they can present flaws that lead to the increase of energy losses. The second workshop will take place in 2019.

ISO 50001

The energy management norm – ISO 50001 – was published in 2011 with the purpose of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions, thus increasing the involvement of private sector in climate actions.[9]  However, while Germany accounts for more than 9.000 certified companies, South America has only around 130, of which only little more than 40 being Brazilian.

Aiming to raise the national knowledge about efficient energy management systems, the Energy Systems of the Future Programme is working closely with the private sector to analyse the gaps that Brazilian industries need to address to become certified according to ISO 50001.  The biggest technical and vocational education and training institution in Latin America – SENAI[10], with the support of the German Company Envidatec will conduct a respective diagnostic of 40 companies from different regions in Brazil.

During September and October 2018, Envidatec consultants visited eight industries in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina, Espírito Santo e Goiás, accompanied by SENAI professionals. Thus, they were trained to apply the gap analysis methodology to implement ISO 50001. Until January 2019, SENAI specialists will put this knowledge in practice by analysing additional 32 industries. Among the participants on this project are ThyssenKrupp and Siemens.

As a result of these applications, SENAI professionals will be prepared to offer this service to other Brazilians companies, having practical examples of positive impacts of this methodology. Besides energy gains, improved energy management leads to cost reductions and thus increases the economic competitiveness.

As part of the initiative, a workshop with the Brazilian Association of Greater Industry Consumers (ABRACE) was carried out to discuss energy management and to present German experiences with ISO 50001 certification. Together, ABRACE associates represent 45% of electric energy and 40% of thermal energy consumptions in the Brazilian Industry Sector.