The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are geographically, culturally and economically diverse, but have one common point on their agenda — the rapid development of the energy industry as a national priority. This is owing to the fact that the primary contribution to the projected increase in world energy consumption (the International Energy Outlook 2013 projects 56% growth between 2010 and 2040) comes from the BRICS. The BRICS countries represent 36% of total global renewable power capacity and almost 27% of non-hydro renewable capacity in 2012.
The BRICS face a wide range of challenges with respect to energy, the critical ones being universal electrification, especially in rural areas; rapidly increasing demand; the need to decrease energy intensity by deploying more renewable energy sources; reducing the high rate of energy losses, especially non-technical; and improving energy efficiency.
BRICS countries have been employing geospatial technology in various capacities in planning, generating, transmitting and distributing electric power. In a just published article in Geosspatial World we've provided a snapshot of the application of geospatial technology in these emerging countries and how we see it evolving in the future.
Utilities in BRICS countries are uniquely positioned as they have been using GIS as an operational tool for some time and are familiar with its capabilities. At the same time, they are not encumbered to the same extent by old, legacy IT systems based on operational silos that remain a challenge for utilities in developed economies. Their work forces are younger, more internet savvy, and more willing to adopt new technologies. The dawn of the data-driven, geospatially aware era promises new opportunities to deliver improved availability, efficiency and affordability. If utility leaders in the BRICS understand the vision and seize the opportunity, they could propel these countries into a leadership position in the electric power utility sector.