Operational efficiency, new sources of energy, less greenhouse-gas emissions, cost-effective power rates and greater consumer participation are some of the challenges currently faced by the energy sector. Information and Communication Technology provides a valuable contribution to this sector, inasmuch as it is essential to improve power system management, with increased technical, economical, social and environmental efficiency.

The Brazilian electric power sector (unique, compared to that of other countries) has developed its own characteristics over the years, among which the policies and business models adopted, the available sources of energy, the technology employed and the impact on the environment stand out the most. The country’s energy matrix is based primarily on renewable sources, and the sector accounts for a minimum percent of the total greenhouse-gas emissions, compared to the percentage of the sector in developed countries. The power grid, for example, has reached significant levels.

However, the sector needs to expand its infrastructure efficiency as well as provide an increased and more secure energy supply. The Brazilian power grid comprises a large and complex infrastructure, which requires a highly complex management system to cover all inherent operational risks.

The smart grid concept is expected to create a modern power grid that will reshape the way power is generated and consumed. Today, the most tangible innovation for users is the widescale deployment of smart meters. This will allow new utility rates to be introduced and new consumption behaviors and profiles to be created in the near future.

Telecommunications, sensing technology, and information and computer technology systems, combined with the existing infrastructure, form a powerful arsenal that will increasingly make the difference.

Local Requirements

CPqD’s contribution to meet the demands of the Brazilian electric power sector in this new scenario takes into consideration the local and specific requirements of each company, allowing the needed communication architecture to be assessed, recommended, specified and built. It also allows IT applications to be developed, which will provide powerful analysis (based on the large amount of information gathered) to support key business decisions. CPqD is more than qualified by their vast experience in project management to provide the technical, economical, social and regulatory analyses needed to invigorate the Brazilian technological evolution. Their expertise, products and services include: Communication, Sensors and Meters, Components, Decision-Making Control and Support and advanced interfaces.

Expanding the technological possibilities

All signs point to an ever-increasing range of technological possibilities which must be understood and mastered if the power sector is to evolve and overcome the challenges down the road. To this end, it is important to have an evolutionary mindset and bring added value to the power grid with innovative technology and applications, while preserving previous investments. The prediction is that technology will play an increasingly relevant role in all stages of the cycle: the generation, transmission, distribution and consumption of energy.