Innovation in Renewables

Published on Thursday, 10 January 2019

“This is when I did another master’s degree on this type of energy in Zaragoza, which contributed much more knowledge about the types of renewable energies to me. I had to make another thesis and this time I aimed towards the energy efficiency of the Huinco power plant, where lowering the lighting consumption of the plant was important. In that thesis I then I projected varying all of the illumination inside and out, adding LED lights, movement sensors and smart power meters.  Pending still is the addition of PV solar panels”, narrates the engineer.

“Whenever I am not working, I am studying”, tells us, while laughing, one of the most outstanding employees of Enel Generación Perú who, thanks to his academic and on the job experience, managed to innovate the electric power generation plants of the company.

The HER project was developed by him and this was so thanks to a program on innovation by which people may express their ideas and where, in 2010, he  suggested placing a mini hydraulic generator inside the outlet channel of the Huampaní power plant. This achieved a reduction in the power generated and delivered by the plant to its auxiliary services, and at the same time, allowed an increase in the power fed into the grid, helping the profits of the company.  He also proposed placing LED lighting plus PV panels in order to lower consumption.

Pablo recognizes that “what I have liked best of my profession is the fact that I may contribute through my knowledge and continue learning more. Precisely now I am studying a doctorate in sustainability and I will aim my thesis to Huampaní. The title is “Optimization of the performance of mini-hydraulic renewable energy hybridization within the outlet channel”. This research will achieve improving the power produced in the Huampaní channel.

“Renewable energies are projected as an important technology within the power matrix in all of the country. In Perú there is a low percentage, 5%, of renewable energy use. On the other hand, conventional energies, such as gas, oil, coal, tend to run out and they pollute, no matter how many filters are used to render them cleaner, they always pollute”, he adds.

Additionally, he denies that renewable energies are comparatively higher in cost than other technologies.  “It is false that renewable energies are expensive.  The cost of a solar plant or wind farm has dropped enormously. Even in Peru there are, such as in other countries, renewable power auctions every 2 years, where investors participate and may add their quota of renewable energies. This is so thanks to the Peruvian government, that favours the generation through renewable energies, giving them higher prices at the auctions.  For example, the Huampaní mini-hydraulic plant managed to be the winner in this year’s auction, obtaining a price of 58$ per megawatt, when the normal price is around 20$. Then this is an attractive 20 year contract at that price”, he details.

“I placed my bets on innovation, which consists of adopting the technology existing in other countries’ markets, but which is new for Peru. It is to place this technology in some facility and making it work and operate, it is introducing a new model of technology in the Peruvian market, this is innovation”.

Pablo states that Peru still maintains a low percentage of renewable energy generation, and that the policy should be aimed at increasing support for the renewable energy matrix, as in other countries with regulations that encourage this type of energy.

“There are good sources in Peru, since it is a rich country that may grow based upon the development of its renewable energy sources”, he points out, at the same time adding that he has the conviction that “we shall achieve that change, we are in a transitory stage.  That is why, the arrival of Enel Green Power to Enel Generación Perú means for me a great hope of being able to grow. Enel is the first company, and at this moment, the only one, venturing in the country in the subject of renewable energies”.