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Delivering off-grid electricity systems in the Brazilian Amazon
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7972-0876
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7123-1824
2012 (English)In: Energy for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-0826, Vol. 16, no 2, 155-167 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Brazil, more than 14 million people have benefited from the rural electrification program Luz Para Todos (LPT – Light for all), mainly through grid-extension. A new off-grid model is now required if remote areas in the Amazon region are to fully benefit from the program. In this paper, we explore the institutional and financial schemes that support LPT and their suitability for delivering off-grid solutions in the Amazon region. Our conclusions draw attention to the need for more local and site specific solutions, and new regulatory frameworks to allow the participation of new actors. We argue that the uniqueness of the Amazon region justifies renewable technologies focused on local needs and potential, adaptation of the LPT institutional framework and rethinking of funding channels. An off-grid approach will enhance the inclusion of remote areas in universal access goals while adjustments will help guarantee the sustainability of the electrification program.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 16, no 2, 155-167 p.
Keyword [en]
Universal electricity access, Isolated communities, off-grid solutions
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-78013DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2012.01.007ISI: 000305671600003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84862000518OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-78013DiVA: diva2:492281
Note

QC 20150626

Available from: 2012-02-07 Created: 2012-02-07 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Electricity access for human development in the Brazilian Amazon
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Electricity access for human development in the Brazilian Amazon
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Electricity access is widely recognized as a driver of development. The Brazilian government has incorporated this principle into its national rural electrification program, Luz Para Todos (LPT – Light for all), which has already benefited more than 14 million people in the country since its inception in 2003. But a different electrification model is required if remote areas in the Amazon region are to fully benefit from the program.

In general, LPT has been implemented through a grid-based technology. However, the program has been less successful in providing electricity access in the Amazon region. In this region, about 24% of the rural population has no access to electricity. Key challenges are related to the exhaustion of the grid-extension model in isolated areas.  Extending the grid in these areas is neither realistic because of the local topography and natural conditions, nor cost-effective because expensive investments would be required to benefit a small number of citizens with low income and consumption rates.

This study suggests an adapted LPT model for delivering electricity access in isolated areas of the Amazon region. In particular, the study offers a policy maker perspective and details the specific needs of isolated communities. It was developed in the form of a case study and included a variety of data sources, gathering techniques and analysis approaches, including an extensive literature review, the collection of in-situ evidence through direct observations and semi- structured interviews.

Conclusions draw attention to the need for more local and site-specific solutions. Three issues will be decisive in achieving universal, reliable and affordable access to electricity in the Amazon region. Firstly, harmonization with the regional context is essential as the Amazon is a vast and unique environment. Secondly, there is need for adapting the existing institutional structures to appreciate the conditions and specific needs of rural populations in the Amazon region. Thirdly, securing financial resource allocation and distribution will be decisive in a LPT model aimed at universal electrification in the Amazon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH, 2012. xviii, 71 p.
Series
TRITA-ECS, 2012:01
Keyword
Electricity access, human development, Amazon region
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-95208 (URN)978-91-7501-400-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2012-06-05, Sal M263, Brinellvägen 68, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20120531

Available from: 2012-05-31 Created: 2012-05-18 Last updated: 2013-04-18Bibliographically approved
2. Universal Electricity Access in Remote Areas: Building a pathway toward universalization in the Brazilian Amazon
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Universal Electricity Access in Remote Areas: Building a pathway toward universalization in the Brazilian Amazon
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Worldwide, policymakers face important challenges in relation to the provision of reliable electricity services in remote areas. Brazil is not an exception. The Brazilian rural electrification initiative Luz Para Todos – LPT (Light for All) has attracted attention internationally due to its ambitious targets and significant achievements in a relatively short period. The initiative has proved effective in its first phase, which has been developed through the extension of the grid. However, there are still important challenges in connection with the operationalization of LPT in remote areas.

The ultimate objective of this research is to propose a pathway to facilitate the achievement of universal electricity access in remote areas within the context of the Brazilian Amazon. The analysis was developed using a Mixed Methods Research (MMR) involving tools such as Causal Loops Diagrams (Consideo Modeller ®) and the energy modeling software for Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems (HOMER ®).

This thesis addresses three key questions. The first question is concerned with the strengths and weaknesses of the national rural electrification initiative. The second question investigates institutional, technology and funding structures that specifically support the Brazilian rural electrification initiative in remote areas. The third question involves the identification of leverage points within these structures.

The study concluded that the existing LPT scheme is not capable of achieving full electricity access in remote areas of the Brazilian Amazon. Important challenges remain when it comes to providing the service to inhabitants of these areas. There is a need to i) adapt the existing institutional structures; ii) harmonize technologies within the regional context and, iii) use government funds more effectively. In line with these challenges, identified leverage points indicate that i) rules guiding the relationship among new agents and communities; ii) implementation of small-scale power generation technologies based on local resources; and iii) optimized subsidies are essential to achieve universalization goals in remote areas.

The research proposes a new pathway to activate the identified leverage points within the institutional, technology, and funding structures of LPT. The pathway requires well-informed decision making for the implementation and operation of off-grid solutions that can help to cover the last mile. Within this context, results of the study are expected to provide insights for policymakers, technology providers, project developers, researchers, and communities in general as they seek to increase electricity access in remote areas.

Abstract [sv]

Beslutsfattare över hela världen står inför viktiga utmaningar för att tillhandahålla tillförlitliga elektricitets-tjänster i avlägsna områden. Brasilien är inget undantag. Det brasilianska initiativet för landsbygdselektrifiering Luz Para Todos – LPT (Ljus för alla) har fått internationell uppmärksamhet för dess ambitiösa mål och de resultat som uppnåtts på relativt kort tid.

Initiativet har visat sig effektivt under dess första fas, som utvecklades genom utvidgning av elnätet. Det kvarstår dock viktiga utmaningar för att LPT ska bli operativt i avlägsna områden.

Denna forsknings främsta syfte är att föreslå en väg framåt för att underlätta att allmän tillgång till elektricitet i avlägsna områden av det brasilianska Amazonas uppnås. Analysen utvecklades genom s k Mixed Methods Research – MMR (blandade forskningsmetoder) vilket inkluderar verktyg som Causal Loops Diagrams (Consideo Modeller ®) och energimodelleringsprogramvaran för hybrida förnyelsebara energisystem (HOMER ®).

Denna avhandling behandlar tre huvudfrågor. Den första frågan gäller styrkor och svagheter hos det nationella landsbygdselektrifieringsinitiativet. Den andra frågan undersöker institutionella, teknologiska och finansieringsstrukturer som specifikt stödjer det brasilianska elektrifieringsinitiativet i avlägsna områden. Den tredje frågan handlar om att identifiera punkter inom dessa strukturer där en hävstångseffekt kan uppnås.

I studien konstateras att det befintliga LPT systemet inte är tillräckligt för att uppnå allmän tillgång till elektricitet i avlägsna områden av det brasilianska Amazonas. Viktiga utmaningar kvarstår för att leverera tjänsten till invånarna i dessa områden. Det finns ett behov av att i) anpassa de befintliga institutionella strukturerna, ii) harmonisera teknologierna till den regionala kontexten och iii) effektivisera användningen av statliga medel. På samma sätt indikerar de identifierade hävstångspunkterna att: i) regler som styr förhållandet mellan nya agenter och samhällen, ii) implementering av småskaliga kraftgenereringsteknologier och iii) optimerade subsidier är nödvändiga för att uppnå allmän tillgång till elektricitet i avlägsna områden.

Forskningen föreslår en ny väg framåt för att aktivera de identifierade hävstångspunkterna inom LPTs institutionella, teknologiska och finansieringsstrukturer. Vägen framåt kräver beslutsfattande grundat på god information för att implementera och operera de icke-elnätsanslutna systemen som kan bidra till att nå fram den sista kilometern. I detta sammanhang, förväntas studiens resultat att bidra med insikter för beslutsfattare, teknikleverantörer, projektutvecklare, forskare, och samhället i övrigt i strävan att öka tillgången till elektricitet i avlägsna områden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. 105 p.
Series
TRITA-ECS Report, 14:02
Keyword
Rrural electrification, remote areas, human development, universal access, last mile, Amazon region, landsbygdselektrifiering, avlägsna områden, mänsklig utveckling, allmän tillgång, den sista kilometern, Amazonasregionen
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-145624 (URN)978-91-7595-179-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-12, Sal E2, Lindstedsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20140526

Available from: 2014-05-26 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Gómez, Maria FSilveira, Semida

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