Latin America Advisor

Energy Advisor

A Publication of The Dialogue

How Will Digital Technologies Boost the Power Sector?

Argentina’s electricity sector is adopting digital technologies to reduce nontechnical losses, such as theft, and improve service quality, Andrés Chambouleyron writes below. // File Photo: Argentine Government.

Digital technologies could help boost efficiency and resiliency of power grids and “unlock innovation that will create new sources of revenue,” professional services firm EY said in a report published last month. How are governments and companies in the region integrating digital technologies in the power sector, and should it be an investment priority? What are the most significant ways in which Latin American nations can benefit from the digitalization of their power grids? What kinds of challenges should countries be prepared to face during and after the digital transformation, especially in terms of cybersecurity? What role can digital technologies play in the region’s transition toward renewable energy?

Andrés Chambouleyron, chairman of ENRE, Argentina’s federal electricity regulatory authority: “Digital technologies are being adopted throughout the electricity sector in Argentina. Distribution companies are deploying digital meters to reduce nontechnical losses, such as theft, and improve service quality by reducing both the frequency and duration of service interruptions. With digital technologies, both distribution and transmission companies can now learn exactly when and where the faults occurred and proceed to repair them more quickly. Digital technologies can also help distribution companies reduce electricity theft by allowing them to better monitor demand, quickly detecting load unbalances in the low-voltage grid. The massive adoption of distributed generation by more and more families will also require digital technologies to deal with bidirectional electricity flows and real-time pricing, demand side management (DSM) and storage. The deployment of renewable sources of electricity are also demanding that system operators adopt digital technologies to deal with intermittence. Solar and wind generation call for accurate coordination of different generating sources to accommodate in and out ramps in order to maintain network stability while at the same time minimizing generation costs. This coordination in turn requires…”

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About the Energy Advisor

A sister publication of the Inter-American Dialogue’s daily Latin America Advisor, the weekly Energy Advisor captures fresh analysis from business leaders and government officials on the most important developments in oil and gas, biofuels, the power sector, renewable energies, new technologies, and the policy debates shaping the future of energy in the Western Hemisphere. To subscribe or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at ebrand@thedialogue.org.


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