O setor elétrico mundial está passando por profundas mudanças devido à difusão no mercado de novas tecnologias; processo este que pode ser caracterizado como o início de uma transição tecnológica. Em julho de 2000, a lei brasileira no. 9.991 criou o Programa de P&D do Setor Elétrico, que determina que 1% da receita operacional líquida (ROL) das empresas do setor elétrico deve ser investido em projetos de pesquisa e desenvolvimento (P&D). Quais foram os principais resultados atingidos pelo Programa? E como isso contribuiu (ou não) para o processo de transição em curso? Até o momento, nenhum estudo analisou esses aspectos de forma crítica e formal. Este artigo traz as primeiras percepções de um projeto de pesquisa em curso, cujo objetivo é endereçar essas questões e suprir esta lacuna na literatura. O estudo apresenta uma visão geral dos projetos de P&D desenvolvidos desde 2000, e propõe uma nova metodologia para avaliar, sob o ponto de vista quantitativo e qualitativo, os benefícios do programa. Esta metodologia considera quatro perspectivas: empresas do setor elétrico, o setor elétrico, o setor acadêmico e os fornecedores de sistemas e serviços. O trabalho também traz cenários a serem considerados para aprimorar o Programa de P&D.
The development of smart grids is a complex, multidimensional process, which contemplates the emergence of new technologies, their dissemination and social acceptance, and also a difficult market-creation phase. Such process is therefore better understood through an interdisciplinary approach. In recent years, the approach of the multilevel perspective (MLP) has gained acceptance as an explanatory dynamic methodology of technological transitions; it is based on the concepts of socio-technological regimes, niches and “landscapes”. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the smart grids in Brazil based on the theoretical framework multi-level perspective. The analysis of the status quo and perspectives of development of smart grids in Brazil requires prior knowledge of the motivations and challenges involved. The Brazilian landscape in which smart grids are embedded points to efficiency gains, to the promotion of a more reliable system, and to higher quality as key drivers for the transition, in a context of significant growth in demand. But, it is noteworthy that the current regulatory framework does not encourage investment in network modernization (development of smart grids). Thus, existing smart grid projects in Brazil are currently restricted to early-stage research and development projects, particularly pilot projects.
The electrical sector is in the eve of profound modifications due to the market diffusion of several related technologies. Some drivers of this transition are: the increasing support from society for reducing carbon emissions; the growing speed of development and cost reduction of renewable energy generation technologies; new energy storage devices; new automation spread all over the network; a dramatic increase of the computational capacity; and new regulations related to energy usage. Innovation will play a key role in the transition process of the electric sector, promoting changes and creating opportunities for new technology, products, system, regulation and business structures. Since July 2000, law 9.991 established the Brazilian Electric Sector R&D Program that states that 1% of the income of the electric companies must be invested in R&D (research and development) projects, 40% of this overall budget stay under the electric company discretion (the Program is coordinated by the Brazilian electric sector regulatory agency, ANEEL). As a result, BRL 13.5 Billion (approximately equivalent to USD 3.5 Billion) were invested in 4,300 projects from the year 2000 until 2014. What were the results achieved by the Program? And how has it contributed (or not) to the ongoing transition process? To date, no systematic and comprehensive study has looked at the whole period of the Program. This study introduces the first insights of a two-year research project that seeks to address these questions and to fill this gap. It presents an overview of the projects that have been carried out since 2000, and develops a unique methodology that will be used to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative historical benefits of the Program. The methodology considers four perspectives: electric companies, electric sector, academic sector and systems and services providers. It will also present scenarios that will be considered to improve the R&D Program and to inform related public policies and regulations that seek to stimulate Brazilian companies to invest in the electric sector innovation process, and ultimately contribute to the sector’s transition.