Light Sees Demand Doubling for Brazil Energy-Efficiency Projects

Light SA, a Brazilian power utility, expects demand for its energy-efficiency services to double next year as electricity prices rise and more supermalls and factories seek to conserve power.

Light expects to complete as many as 40 energy-efficiency projects for customers in 2013, up from 20 this year and 10 in 2010, Marco Antonio Donatelli, director of the company’s energy-efficiency unit Light Esco, said in a telephone interview yesterday. These include installing rooftop solar panels and modern air-conditioning units

Light Esco is able to cut shopping malls’ power usage as much as 40 percent and factories’ consumption by 15 percent with more efficient power systems, he said. The country was ranked 10th for energy-efficiency among the world’s 12 biggest economies by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, before Canada and Russia.

“There’s massive potential for energy efficiency throughout the world, but particularly in Brazil, where so few possibilities have been exploited,” Donatelli said. “We now have five companies approaching us a month for projects. Last year it was about two or three.”

Light Esco, based in Rio de Janeiro, is working on eight projects now, including a 2,380 square meter (25,600 square foot) solar system atop the city’s Maracana sports stadium and a 60 million-real ($30 million) natural gas-fired co-generation plant at a soft-drink factory, he said.

The company invested 126.1 million reais in efficiency projects from 2009 to 2011, according to last year’s sustainability report.

Distributors sold power to industry at an average price of 248.05 reais a megawatt hour last year, up from 131.59 reais in 2003, the Brasilia-based electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica said on its website.

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