$1bn plan to foster smart grid and other innovation in Brazil’s energy sector


São Paulo, Brazil — (METERING.COM) — September 2, 2013 – In April a R$3 billion (US$1.3 billion) plan, Inova Energia, was launched by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel), and the Financier of Studies and Projects (Finep) to support smart grid and other technological innovation in the electric sector.

Of this, R$600 million is being provided by Aneel, and R$1.2 billion by each of BNDES and Finep.

The joint effort of the three agencies is intended to provide more extensive coordination of government efforts towards fostering innovation and better integration of support instruments for research, development and innovation available to the energy sector – one of the key areas for growth in Brazil. The selected companies will have the opportunity to access credit with special conditions, with economic subsidies and non-reimbursable financing for research conducted at institutes of science and technology, among other instruments.

The plan is aimed at promoting and selecting business plans that include research, development, engineering and technological absorption; production and trade of goods; as well as innovative processes and services.

The three lines of Inova Energia are:

  • Line 1: Smart grids and ultra-high voltage transmission
  • Line 2: Solar energy and wind power generation
  • Line 3: Hybrid vehicles and vehicle energy efficiency.

For smart grids in Line 1 companies are required to have gross operating revenues not less than R$5 million or more than R$16 million.
Companies were required to submit a letter of interest by May 3, with more than 120 companies/consortia responding with proposals totalling R$13.5 billion – exceeding the available funding by more than four-fold.

An announcement on the selected companies/projects is expected by the end of November.