• iCS - Climate and Society

Energy efficiency: challenges and goals

Updated: Jun 22, 2018

Last Tuesday (September 27), Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE) organized, with the support of iCS, the International Workshop “The Role of Energy Efficiency in the Brazilian Low Carbon Economy”. With a full house – approximately 150 participants – and live streaming via the Observatório do Clima Youtube channel, the event brought light into the debate with four panels: “The international energy efficiency scenario”, “Brazilian INDC and the challenges of energy efficiency”, “Energy Efficiency: how can Brazil move forward?” and “Financial instruments for investments in energy efficiency”.

“We are here to discuss the role of energy efficiency in accomplishing the goals that are part of the Brazilian INDC, Brazil’s commitment to the United Nations under the Paris Convention. This is a very important moment because of the relevancy of this issue, which, in Brazil, has historically been relegated to a secondary role in the energy scenario. We, at iCS, see this moment as a milestone to enable Brazil to move toward a low carbon economy by incorporating energy efficiency measures and policies as part of the country’s economic DNA”, said Roberto Kishinami, Instituto Clima e Sociedade’s Power portfolio coordinator.

Ana Toni, Instituto Clima e Sociedade’s executive director, participated in the Opening Session alongside Luiz Augusto Barroso, president of EPE, and Eduardo Azevedo Rodrigues, Secretary of Energy Development and Planning of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. According to her, the Paris Agreement, which is expected to come into force very soon, has brought two important messages: the need to address climate change as an item of the development and economic agenda, and all its cross-cutting issues, instead of merely as an environmental matter; and the certainty that we must pursue a sustainable future in which energy efficiency and renewable energy are key pillars.

Ana Toni, diretora-executiva do Clima e Sociedade, participou da Sessão de Abertura ao lado de Luiz Augusto Barroso, presidente da EPE

“What is important at this time is to start to implement INDC in the country as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Brazil is one of the least productive countries when it comes to the issue of energy efficiency, but we want to change this”, she said.

EPE’s president recalled that, now, Brazil has an energy efficiency target, that, first, must be fulfilled and, then, “we can try to double down on it”. According to Barroso, hydroelectric plants have become less viable solutions with a perception of the finitude of natural resources, such as water. “This creates additional opportunities for renewable energy sources, which generates a golden opportunity for energy efficiency to come in as an additional value. The cost for the implementation of efficiency measures is competitive, given the expansion resources we have”.

Nevertheless, there are barriers, such as financing, risk aversion, lack of knowledge and misinformation. Therefore, EPE wants to understand how to draw up a feasible plan of action with costs clearly stated for the achievement of each goal. Thus, a comparison with the intended benefits becomes possible and energy efficiency can be treated as a resource.

The event also had the participation of:

Brian Motherway (Head of the Energy Efficiency Division at the International Energy Agency);

Dan Hamza-Goodacre (Program Director, Energy Efficiency at ClimateWorks Foundation, one of the iCS funders, who spoke about the importance of philanthropy for energy efficiency around the world and showed practical results in countries such as India);

Ricardo Gorini (Director of Economic and Environmental Studies – EPE);

Benoît Lebot (International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation – IPEEC);

Gilberto Jannuzzi (Executive Director of the International Energy Initiative – IEI);

Jeferson B. Soares (Superintendent for Energy Economy – EPE);

Leonardo Alonso (Energy Manager, Electricity Department – BNDES);

Linda Murasawa (Sustainability Superintendent – Santander Brasil);

Aurélio Calheiros de Melo Junior (Assistant to the Superintendent of Energy Efficiency Research and Development – SPE-ANEEL).

Journalists Sônia Bridi, of Rede Globo, and Daniela Chiaretti, of Valor, mediated the debates.

The opening session and the “The international energy efficiency scenario” panel can be watched here.

The panels “Brazilian INDC and the challenges of energy efficiency”, “Energy Efficiency: how can Brazil move forward?” and “Financial instruments for investments in energy efficiency” are available here.

The workshop was mentioned in several news articles (in Portuguese), including:

Government discusses how to reduce emissions in the national energy efficiency plan”, published in Valor Econômico, and

EPE wants to be at the center of discussions about energy efficiency ”, of Canal Energia.

The presentations made during the workshop are available in EPE’s site.

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