The electric grid in Brazil is forecasted to beginning being modernized between 2012 and early 2013, according to IG, a Brazilian news website, with the set up of home smart meters. Aneel (the Brazilian Agency for the Electrical Energy) seeks to approve the regulation to make this change in the next few months. This is the first step in Brazil to implement a smart grid – the electric grid supporting energy micro-generation, its retail and several services related to high-quality information on electric use and supply.
With these new services the consumer can keep track daily and monthly of the energy bill. The Brazilian government hopes to save energy using home electricity management software. Aneel will change the price based on the time of the day, making the all system more efficient.
There are some pilot projects, like AES Eletropaulo’s (one of the Brazilian energy providers) that is running a trial with with 2000 houses.
The next steps include introducing electrical micro-generation in the grid using solar and wind energy, putting new consuming elements such as electrical vehicles and smart appliances into the grid, and introducing a new electricity business model, allowing anyone to produce, to sell and to buy these resources when necessary. In Brazil, this model is called “net zero” home: it involves smart appliances, car charging and control centres, and the required communication and management systems supporting the new scenario. The government will give incentives to encourage consumers to buy smart devices and to save more electricity.
However, changing to the new grid isn’t cheap: it was estimated about 150 euros for each smart meter (the new device that will measure energy consumption). And this isn’t the entire cost: it is necessary to change a lot of power transmission elements and distribution lines in the grid infrastructure. It is hoped that this investiment wouldn’t be paid by the consumers, since other costs can be reduced, like maintenance and human support, offsetting the needed investment.