By Marco Rivera, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Talca. Power electronics specialist for renewable energy applications.
The Environment Day was declared by the United Nations (UN) in December 1977, although since 1974 it has been celebrated every June 5, leaving this day established in order to sensitize the community on environmental issues and encourage them. to be active agents of sustainable and equitable development.
Every year, thousands of events are organized around the planet, including cleaning campaigns, actions that promote the preservation of flora and fauna, as well as the incentive to communities to collaborate in developing mechanisms that allow guaranteeing a prosperous and safe future. for all.
One of the main objectives of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, adopted by the UN is “to achieve clean and affordable energy”, whose purpose is to guarantee access to clean, safe, sustainable and modern energy throughout the world for protect the planet from the negative effects caused by the use of fossil fuels, guarantee prosperity and eradicate poverty. Unfortunately, the events that populations around the world have faced in the last year, such as the social crisis in Chile, Colombia and several other countries with high levels of social discontent, in addition to the coronavirus pandemic around the world, have evidenced the Large differences in population, which have also been detailed in the 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, where Chile is reported to be ranked 70 out of a total of 156 countries.
Excessive energy costs, poor thermal insulation of homes and the use of polluting fuels for heating, as well as poor access to electricity, constitute barriers to the implementation of mitigation actions and a serious obstacle to the possibilities of the countries. to advance in the energy transition, a necessary process to face the challenges of climate change.
All these problems have motivated many countries – including the Chilean government, which identified more than 30,000 households without access to electricity in the Energy Vulnerability Map of the Ministry of Energy, and scientific communities – to reduce the associated costs and the gaps economic, promoting the penetration of renewable energies to the electricity grid, the search for energy efficiency and the development of microgrids for isolated or rural areas or as part of a sustainable energy integration system.
Power converters play a relevant and crucial role in enabling this new paradigm of distributed energy generation, since they allow the interconnection between generation systems and the electricity grid. Therefore, it is desirable that they be able to take full advantage of the electrical energy generated and deliver it to the system in the most efficient way possible. This creates a new opportunity for different researchers in the country to propose new configurations of power converters, as well as new control techniques, that are adapted to the Chilean geography and that allow more efficient use of the natural resources that are available in the country. country.
But the search for a prosperous and safe future for all, through the care of the environment, is not only for a few, but also for each member of the community of this planet, who can contribute with actions as simple as taking care of water. , using cleaning devices that are not harmful to the ozone layer, reusable, rechargeable, trying to use efficient electronic devices, taking advantage of natural light, using efficient light bulbs, turning off and unplugging electrical devices that are not being used, among others. In summary, this June 5 is a new opportunity to promote simple actions that contribute to a better world.
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