Mario Ruiz-Tagle: the energy of the future happens now and we are the protagonists in this journey


by Mario Ruiz-Tagle, Neoenergia's CEO*



The future is digital and the energy of the future has become more and more vital


Energy production, as well as its consumption, has evolved significantly in recent decades. The discussion about the use of new energy sources is no longer optional and the center of the socioeconomic debate needs to be guided in this context in favor of conscious and sustainable development.

The reactions of the environment towards the use of fossil fuels are evident. The signs of relief to the Earth perceived during the Covid-19 pandemic, from the reduction of CO² emissions and the historical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with measures of social distancing, reinforced the direct relationship between human activity and climate change, in addition to the drop in temperature and the reduction of noise in cities. This is the century of renewable energies, with the electricity sector being the fundamental basis for a more efficient, cleaner, economic production system, with the need to seek innovative solutions.

Climate change is clearly reflected in the change in rainfall patterns and prolonged periods of drought, affecting hydraulic generation, which makes it increasingly necessary to explore other renewable sources such as wind or photovoltaic generation.

I see great growth in Neoenergia's operations, based on projects that value the sustainability of the business in harmony with the planet, providing essential achievements for the Brazilian electricity sector. We started our journey in this field more than 20 years ago and today the world makes a very clear choice: the future is digital and the energy of the future has become more and more vital.

The strategy of economic recovery with investments in green energy guides our business. We can highlight tools and technologies that help in this common goal, such as the arrival of electric cars, the digitalization of networks and the development of Green Hydrogen. We are nearing completion of the first electroway in the Northeast of Brazil, which cuts through six states in the region, with an extension of 1,100 km and 18 locations with recharge points. The corridor will make it possible to reduce the emission of polluting gases and the cost related to refueling, when compared to diesel vehicles. In addition, in Paraíba, Piauí and Bahia, our largest wind farms are in advanced stages of construction and, together, will enable us to have 90% renewable generation, a percentage higher than the country's energy matrix.

Smart grids are also part of this change, making it possible to add technologies to the daily lives of our customers. The solution ensures availability of energy supply and intelligence in the decision-making system. We invest in the digitization of customer service, energy efficiency projects and innovation, such as energy storage in batteries, electric truck and smart meters.

We evolved in ESG practices – which stands for environmental, social and governance – improving strategies to assume even more robust commitments, with monitoring indicators that allow us to manage initiatives and report more assertively to the market and consumers. In this scenario, Neoenergia assumed the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050 and remains focused on decisions to avoid carbon emissions.

The modernization of the Brazilian electrical matrix is what will bring great advances. It is necessary to incorporate new technologies. Daily, we are encouraged to make technological investments, requiring innovation as we go along – there is a process until new technologies become available to a large part of the population and we are contributing to this advance. It is noticeable that, as we invest in clean and renewable energies, they become more accessible and indispensable.

We live in a historic moment. Society and investors value companies and public agents that pay attention to global changes, recognizing this posture as an asset that generates intangible value for companies. Thus, they will be able to sustain themselves in the long term and perform better in the face of adversity.

Innovation is one of the faces of sustainability and the energy sector is decisive in the process of decarbonization through the electrification of the economy. I believe the post-Covid-19 pandemic technological challenges could further accelerate industry transformation and modernization, demonstrating that energy is a genuinely essential service.

Each company will have its medium and long-term strategy, but it is likely that all choices will lead us to the same destination in the increasingly near future. The path to renewable sources and the use of clean energy is the future of the world.


* Article written by Mario Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of Neoenergia, for Broadcast Energia do Estadão.