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CNPE proposes resolution establishing guidelines on RD&I in the energy sector

02/12/2021 | 18h57
CNPE proposes resolution establishing guidelines on RD&I in the energy sector
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The legal frameworks of the electricity sector as well as the oil and gas sector provide for investment obligations in research and development by energy companies. Considering that these sources of resources are important instruments to enable national technological development, it is important to seek the alignment between the use of these resources and the long-term strategy of the energy sector in Brazil.


In this sense, the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) proposed a resolution that aims to reinforce this alignment and establishes guidelines on research, development and innovation in the energy sector in the Country, determining that the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) and the Agency National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) seek to prioritize regulated investments in research and development in seven themes: hydrogen, nuclear energy, biofuels, energy storage, technologies for sustainable thermoelectric generation, digital transformation and strategic minerals for the energy sector .


Each of the themes was proposed from a flexible and comprehensive perspective, in order to make it possible to face the specific challenges of each theme, according to their peculiarities. As an example, the case of hydrogen, which, in addition to technological development, also needs to address issues associated with regulation and technical specifications on the production, transport, storage and consumption of this energy source.


Another example is biofuels, which must be stimulated in their various forms (ethanol, biodiesel, green diesel, biogas, biomethane, biokerosene and biobunker, among others) and contemplate the improvement of productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of the various stages of the production chain. . In this chapter, the development of new products and new technologies of use must also be pursued, including those that establish bridges with the future national hydrogen strategy, such as fuel cells and reformers capable of extracting hydrogen from ethanol and other biofuels.


The proposed resolution also reveals different links in the energy sector chain and seeks to encourage investments in so-called strategic minerals for the energy sector, which are relevant inputs for the development of different technologies in the context of energy transition. Silicon and lithium are important inputs for applications such as photovoltaic cells and batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles, among others.


The concept of energy transition is associated with significant changes in the structure of the world's primary energy matrix, towards low-carbon economies. Energy transitions are complex processes, in which transformations occur at different levels and speeds in different countries and regions, according to their comparative advantages and available natural resources. The current energy transition process is centered on conditions such as sustainable development, combating climate change, technological innovations, industrial transformations and the entry into the digital age.


Based on these concerns, technologies for sustainable thermoelectric generation were also included among the prioritized themes, in line with policies that seek to provide Brazilians with benefits from the existing energy diversity in the country, such as the Novo Mercado do Gás and also the initiatives of dealing with MME Ordinances No. 452 and 461, 2020.


Brazil stands out for the renewability of its energy matrix and, based on its long-term strategy, outlined in the National Energy Plan 2050, it has defended the use of a wide range of solutions for decarbonization, combining the advantages of sustainable bioenergy, hydroelectricity, solar and wind energy, in addition to nuclear energy, together with fossil sources with lower CO2 emissions, such as natural gas.


In recognition of Brazil's outstanding position in the energy area, the United Nations appointed Brazil, in the last month of January, as one of the leading countries in the theme of Energy Transition, one of the central axes of the "High Level Dialogue of Nations on Energy ", an initiative that will be developed throughout 2021 and that coincides with the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP-26).


It is worth noting that the proposed resolution was conceived as a first, short-term initiative to address the theme of research, development and innovation at a strategic level, in addition to the regulatory one.


Other medium and long-term measures are being developed through articulation between the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, with the objective of ensuring that energy and mining innovation efforts become important assets to increase competitive advantage of Brazil in the context of the Energy Transition. To this end, the ministries are designing a governance structure to deal with this challenge, leading, increasingly, that this discussion on the alignment between technological development and long-term sector strategy can be carried out in a structured and coordinated manner by the portfolios, expanding dialogue with institutions and sectorial associations, industry and civil society.

Font: T&B Petroleum/Press Office MME
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