ADELAT and ISCI carry out an enriching debate about the chilean energy matrix and the role of electricity distribution
The Association of Latin American Electrical Energy Distributors and the Complex Engineering Systems Institute carried out the edition of the discussion “Challenges of electrical distribution for the energy transition in Latin America” at the University of Chile, Santiago.
On this occasion, important professionals debated regulatory frameworks and aspects of utmost importance for the present and future of the region in the context of the changes that are and will emerge in the sector.
The opening was led by the president of ADELAT, David Felipe Acosta, who indicated: “Transformation must be a commitment for all countries and Latin America must not be left behind”. “This energy transition has two fundamental variables to ensure the viability of the process: the electrification of demand and the development, modernization and adaptation of the electrical network”, he added.
Next, the executive director of the Association, Ignacio Santelices, spoke about the main challenges for the electrical distribution of the future and the guidelines of the policy paper. He pointed out that “the energy transition will bring great social, economic and environmental benefits” and that “it is essential to move together towards renewable energies and electrification, which is why it is key to modernize distribution”.
The event featured the outstanding presentation of the head of the Sustainable Energy division in the Chilean Ministry of Energy, Mauricio Riveros Rodríguez, who spoke about energy policy at the national level. His presentation was based on the need to decarbonize the electrical system, have distribution as an enabling infrastructure for the connection and management of energy resources and put the user at the center of the transformation.
The functionary explained that the objectives they pursue are to promote end users to enjoy the benefits and savings associated with the energy transition; promote the maintenance of affordable energy comfort for users; and encourage an inclusive and participatory experience, with better access to information for decision-making by clients.
Then, the panel “Promoting the modernization of electrical distribution” took place, of which Riveros Rodríguez was also part. The discussion table was moderated by Larissa Cunha, Director of Knowledge Management at ADELAT.
There, the executive secretary of the National Energy Commission, Marco Mancilla, began the panel by highlighting the technical consensus of the clear need to reform the distribution scheme, including smart metering. The secretary stated that “a change regulatory in the Chilean case is very necessary for the future development of electrical networks”. He added that “for this, two structural reforms are necessary in the long term: one in generation, focused on the wholesale market, and another in distribution”. “That has been declared and we will move forward there,” he concluded.
The head of Network Development at Enel Chile, Paola Carrasco, participated in the panel and said that “the challenge is to be able to have coordinated planning and provide certainty to public service providers”. “The energy transition must show equity, which is why it is necessary to take charge of new supplies and existing supplies that are becoming more electrified every day”.
Finally, the academic from the University of Chile and ISCI researcher, Rodrigo Moreno, pointed out that it is essential to advance in regulation that encourages companies to make investments and that deliver services that are valued by society. “The changes must have the customer as a priority”, he added.
To end the day, David Felipe Acosta thanked all the panelists and speakers and expressed: “We feel satisfied that, from ADELAT, we can promote these spaces to discuss and find solutions to the dilemmas that arise in energy matters in each country”.
“We are obliged to cooperate with associations and local authorities in the construction of this cost/benefit calculation towards the client, putting demand at the center. We reinforce the importance of distributors having this room for maneuver to test the best investments and that it is one of our purposes to prioritize, together with the authorities, which investments are necessary according to the dynamics of each market”, he concluded.
The debate was very useful to reflect on how the energy transition is going through in the region and to share good practices, principles and regulatory guidelines.
The objective of the discussion was to present the results of the research “Challenges and regulatory improvements in electrical distribution for the Latin American energy transition” to experts from Chile, Brazil and Colombia. Study in which Rodrigo Moreno, researcher and leader of the research line dedicated to energy at ISCI, participated.
Fuente: Energía Estratégica.