This group brings together the best thinkers on energy and climate. Join us for smart, insightful posts and conversations about where the energy industry is and where it is going.


Innovating with energy sources

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Consultant energy affairs, Self employed

Rafael Herzberg- is an independent energy consultant, self-employed (since 2018) based in São Paulo, Brazil* Focus on C level, VPs and upper managers associated to energy related info, analysis...

  • Member since 2003
  • 2,220 items added with 1,295,022 views
  • Feb 13, 2021

Innovating with energy sources

The vast majority of companies and institutions use electricity as the single source of energy.

Is this choice the best in view of other sources that could also be used?

Here is an example of an medium sized manufacturing industry, located in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.


* 100% of the energy consumed is electric through the local concessionaire
* The total power bill cost referred to the MWh consumption is R$ 500/MWh


* It would replace 35% of electricity consumption
* Natural gas cost R$ 2.2 /m³
* Gas ​​cost, R$ 220/MWh
* Weighted cost 35% gas and 65% electric, R$ 400/MWh
* Energy bill savings of R$ 100/MWh (20%)

This saving (20%) may justify the investment in a gas oven or even in retrofitting the existing electric oven.

This concept might be extended to a list of possibilities such as the use of biomass, solar, among others, always considering the type of activity developed in that specific location and the alternative sources commercially available.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 13, 2021

Rafael, it would be considerably worse for the environment to switch to burning fossil fuel in a country that obtains 70% of its electricity from carbon-free hydropower.
By your calculation it looks like it would save the manufacturing company some money. But whether saving money at the expense of the environment is "best" is an ethical (and personal) judgement.

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Feb 15, 2021

The local gas distribution company operates according the established regulations and therefore is allowed to sell gas. Accordingly it is possible to legitimately lock gas deals to purchase gas. 

Here in Brazil there are no restrictions to switch from electric power to natural gas, so unfortunately, yes you are right: it depends "only" on a ethical judgement. And again, unfortunately ethical judgement is a super scarce resources these days here in Brazil.

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Thank Rafael for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »