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Catching up with Gustavo Ribeiro: 2016 LEDS GP Fellow for LAC


Gustavo Ribeiro, Consultant in Energy and Climate Change, CIOESTE (Inter-municipal Public Consortium of the Western Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo), Brazil, spent his Fellowship at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, United States, learning about methods and tools related to energy assessments. Here we look what he worked on during his Fellowship, and the projects that Gustavo has been involved in since then.

Gustavo’s main objective for the Fellowship at NREL was to learn how to use the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) system to forecast the energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions for the energy sector of Brazil’s CIOESTE region.

Emissions forecasting is an important step towards developing greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. It helps local governments to better understand the emissions projections for different sectors, so that they can develop the most effective climate mitigation strategies to drive sustainable economic growth. Gustavo’s projections were based partly on work done earlier by the LEDS GP Remote Expert Assistance on LEDS (REAL) Service for CIOESTE. He also pulled in national macroeconomic indicators such as GDP growth, data on population growth, and national low emission policies.

The findings were laid out in a paper written by Gustavo and researchers from the University of São Paulo, CIOESTE, and LEDS GP. The paper discusses the influence of national low emission development policies on local greenhouse gas reduction targets, and was presented at the 6th Latin American Energy Economics Meeting, April 2017. It concludes that subnational governments in Brazil are particularly committed to greenhouse gas emissions due to federal decisions beyond their control, such as the percentage of biofuels mixture in gasoline and the contribution of fossil fuel-based power in electricity production. The paper also recommends that subnational governments must differentiate their reduction targets according to the sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Over the Fellowship, I learned other diverse methods and tools related to renewable energy and low emission development policy implementation, including the:

  • Cities LEAP Program – a tool that helps cities to set renewable energy and energy efficiency targets by building a database made at the national level;
  • System Advisor Model and Solar Energy Data Base – developed to estimate renewable energy project costs connected to the national grid; and
  • JEDI – an Excel model that estimates the economic impacts of energy efficiency and renewable power projects.” – Gustavo Ribeiro

As well as the training, Gustavo took part in knowledge sharing sessions: he hosted a webinar for NREL staff and presented a session on vertical integration of climate action from national to subnational levels at a Climate Knowledge Brokers workshop. As a result of these knowledge sharing and networking opportunities, CIOESTE is looking to access further expertise for its low emissions energy planning from the Climate Technology Centre and Network: the United Nations body that supports developing countries to access technological advice.

On May 25 2017, Gustavo delivered a capacity building workshop to technical staff from CIOESTE’s municipalities. Attended by technicians, urban planners, and environmental analysts, the workshop covered: CIOESTE’s energy and greenhouse gas emissions forecasts; national regulations and international climate change negotiations; the System Advisor Model; the PVWatts calculator; and basic introductions to the LEAP tool.

Since the Fellowship Gustavo has received requests to deliver training from specialist technical institutions, including the Research Centre for Gas Innovation at the University of São Paulo. Gustavo is delivering these sessions to researchers involved in estimating the impact of natural gas on the current and future greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil. These sessions will inform new and innovative approaches in Brazil’s transition to a low carbon economy.

Photo: Gustavo Ribeiro

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