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Simulating the 2021 power crisis in Brazil

image credit: Rafael Herzberg
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...

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  • Jun 1, 2021

Simulating the 2021 power crisis in Brazil

The 2001 blackout and the energy crisis (as it is being officially called) that is approaching quickly do have very different characteristics.

In 2001, there was not enough energy to supply the national integrated system. Hence the rationing.

Currently, with the park of thermal power plants available, there is a backup.

Between the cost of the 2001 power outage and the significant additional cost of dispatching the thermal plants in 2021, the current situation is much better!

The challenge is: preparing your company or institution to face the crisis in a planned way and minimizing the associated costs. The tradition of deciding in the heat of events can be chosen, but of course, it has - usually - a much higher cost.

If you would like to explore "planning", get in touch to find out your alternatives. You will certainly be surprised!

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 1, 2021

This sounds a lot like the retrospective in Texas this past winter where the February outages took so many by surprise, despite getting the warning signals in winter 10 years ago. Hopefully Brazil learned better from the past than Texas did!

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Jun 1, 2021

My guess is: given the experience with super hard times in 2001, there are great opportunities to be identified and captured.  Cost arbitration becomes the name of the game. A few real life examples that I came up with for my clients (large industrial energy users):

1. Using different energy sources to come up with the best "package"

  Natural gas is a great possibility!
2. Selling power in the spot - developing production activities in other countries

    Redirecting productions to where it is more competitive, especially for those items that are "energy-intensive"

3. Using available local gen sets

   Whenever its variable cost (fuel, operations and maintenance) is cheaper than the power form the grid. 

And the list goes one....

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Thank Rafael for the Post!
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