New research from the Northeast Group forecasts that smart grid investments in Brazil will reach $36.6 billion by 2022. The Brazil Smart Grid: Market Forecast (2012-2022) report found that utilities in Brazil will use the smart grid investments to help reduce electricity theft, improve the reliability of electric infrastructure, offer new pricing plans for customers, and enable economic growth.
According to Northeast Group , “Brazil’s rapidly growing economy is straining the existing electric infrastructure and smart grid investments will be critical to address the many challenges facing the sector. Brazil, with the fifth largest population in the world, is eager to upgrade its infrastructure in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics when it will be on the world stage.”
The research also notes: “A very significant problem in Brazil is the high rate of electricity theft. This is both a public safety issue and also unfairly requires paying customers to subsidize those stealing power. Smart meters are very effective tools in helping reduce electricity theft.”
Smart metering will be the smart grid program leading the way in Brazil. The centerpiece of Brazil’s smart grid plans is a target set by ANEEL, the Brazilian electricity regulator, to deploy 63 million AMI meters by 2021. Detailed regulations are expected within the next year and these will drive large-scale AMI deployments across the country. In addition, distribution automation, home energy management and other smart grid technologies are expected to grow in Brazil over the coming decade.
The Northeast Group reports also says, “Establishing the regulatory framework will be the catalyst for large-scale AMI deployments,” according to Northeast Group. “But even in advance of these regulations, Brazilian utilities have been very active in piloting AMI. Almost all of the utilities have piloted AMI in some form and five of the largest utility groups with non-technical losses above 14 percent found that AMI deployments can bring immediate benefits by reducing theft. Several Brazilian utilities are even already experimenting with full-scale ‘smart city’ concepts that leverage a number of smart grid applications, such as distributed renewable generation and sophisticated home area networks.”