Roraima is the only state entirely outside the National Interconnected System (SIN), which brings together the system of production and transmission of electric energy in the country. Other states from the Amazon region also have isolated systems, but only in parts. Since 2017, the Institute for Climate and Society has been operating in the region, initially with the government in order to conduct a survey of energy proficiency and biomass generation, among others. The effort has been increasing since then, with an active participation in the auction of energy and power to Boa Vista and connected locations in May 2019 and the creation of the Forum of Renewable Energy of Roraima. A large event in December was attended by over 200 people and discussed the monitoring of the projects with the winning companies of the auction and distributed generation, among other matters.

The request for bids for the auction of energy efficiency of Roraima, which is fundamental not only for the state, “but also to demonstrate to the rest of the country that it is possible to use market mechanisms to promote energy efficiency,” as emphasized by Ricardo Lima, an iCS consultant, is available for public consultation until March 18, 2020. Promoted by ANEEL (the National Agency of Electric Energy), the consultation discusses the intention of hiring an agent for the development of energy efficiency actions, with the objective to reduce the consumption of electric energy in Boa Vista through public lighting and extensive competition. In other words, it is intended to use the resources of the Program of National Energy Efficiency to pay for the energy saved by the consumption reducing agent, which can then be invested in the installation of equipment for consumers.

The Forum has a fundamental role to ensure the auction is a success, as well as gathering together the reducing agents and the consumers. In this agenda, one of the main points raised referred to a request to ANEEL, through the public consultation, to increase the presented targets. Although it is a project pilot for other regions of Brazil, Alexandre Henklain, the coordinator of the Forum, believes that more ambition is necessary in order to resolve the serious supply problems in Roraima.

“We also have two primary objectives. The first concerns the revisions planned for Resolution 482, of ANEEL. We believe the maintenance of the benefits of the 2012 resolution for isolated systems is fundamental,” explains Henklain.

Contextualizing , all the consumers that are in the National Interconnected System pay, in their monthly electricity bills, a small amount that is destined to isolated systems. In total, these consumed R$ 7 billion reais in subsidies in 2019, prorated between consumers, with the emission of over three million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, because the main source of energy is diesel.

“In other words, in the isolated systems what is under discussion is that the subsidy of diesel is more expensive than renewable energy. Therefore, it is fundamental that ANEEL maintains the benefits of Resolution 482 for solar energy in the isolated systems due to the economic advantages for the users of the system and for the rest of the country, in addition to the environmental advantages,” he continues.

Another target of the Forum is to motivate as many consumers as possible in Roraima to install solar panels, helping those who do not have the investment capacity to have access to lines of credit. “Some of them are good when being paid only with the reduction of the energy bill. In other words, the individual does not have to spend extra money in order to become the owner of the system in six or seven years,” assesses Henklain.

In the coming months, iCS and the Forum hope to achieve significant progress with the Yanomami through new understandings and processes of dialogue. In the indigenous lands, there are several communities that use small diesel generators, mainly to supply health centers. The maintenance of generators, and the need to use aircraft to transport the diesel, among others, makes the operation expensive and results in intermittent power cuts, causing losses of medications and vaccines and the dissatisfaction of the health professionals.

In addition, the use of the diesel pollutes the air, producing breathing problems, frightens away the animals that are hunted nearby, and causes noise pollution. Currently, discussions are taking place with the indigenous leaders to show the importance of carrying out projects that replace diesel fuel with solar generation, which would resolve the aforementioned problems.

Learn more on the site of the Forum .

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