The Energy Planning Program (PPE) is one of the newest programs at COPPE. It was approved on January 4th, 1991, by the Graduate Teaching Council – CEPG at UFRJ. The PPE, however, originated in 1979, when the Interdisciplinary Energy Area (AIE) was created based on a joint initiative of three Graduate Programs: Systems Engineering, Production Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.
With that in mind, it is worth highlighting the pioneering position of the PPE in the interdisciplinary theme of Energy and the Environment in Brazil. This pioneering position may be seen through the formation of researchers that started to act at units of UFRJ itself or other Brazilian and foreign universities, and through the creation of new academic research centers spread throughout the Brazilian territory.
The consolidation of the PPE bore fruit and contributed to the creation and implementation of the undergraduate course in Environmental Engineering of the Polytechnic School, the Graduate Course in History and Epistemology of Science, and the lato sensu Graduate Course in Oil and Gas, all at UFRJ.
The goal of the PPE is teaching, research and development of extension activities related to the areas of Energy Planning and Environmental Planning. The PPE is not the sum of different formations, but the synergy within a same environment of applied research. Professors and students of the program come from many different knowledge areas interacting with each other, such as: engineers of different specialties (civil, electric, chemical, metallurgical, mechanical, transportation, etc.), economists, biologists, chemists, geographers, geologists, architects, mathematicians and physicists.
The dynamics of teaching and research activities resulted in a strong integration between theory/University and practice/market/Government, exposing the students of the program to an environment of rich and mutually productive academic and professional experiences. This fact also explains the high demand by the market and governmental institutions for professors and students of the Program.
In this interaction with the external environment (market, government and society), the PPE has directly contributed by making students and professors available to be assigned at regulatory agencies, government bodies, state secretary offices, and energy companies, among others, in the areas of Energy and/or Environment.
Through the course of its history, the PPE has assigned professors to the positions of: President of Eletrobrás; Director of the National Water Agency (ANA); Superintendent of the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels; Director-General of the Energy Research Company (EPE); Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy; Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change; and Interim Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Another noteworthy fact is that professors from the PPE have contributed to the development of the institutional model of the Brazilian energy sector and were also important in the development of the country's industrial policy model. Former PPE students also currently stand out in national and international public and private institutions.
The PPE is a pioneer in Brazil and Latin America in subjects such as:
- Integrated modeling of expansion and operation of energy systems
- Greenhouse effect and global climate change
- Sustainable energy development
- Energy efficiency
- Demand-side management
- Exergy efficiency
- Integrated resource planning
- Energy, environment and development
- Energy analysis
- Life cycle assessment of energy resources
- Environmental management of the energy industry
- Analysis of the industry and the geopolitics of petroleum
- Waste management
- Water resource management
- Modeling of the impacts of global climate change
- Greenhouse gas emissions in hydroelectric plants
Throughout its existence, the PPE has shown competence in the articulation of related areas of scientific knowledge regarding the topics of Energy Planning and Environmental Planning, addressing these themes in an integrated way both under their stricto sensu technological perspective and under a social and economic perspective. This is competence is seen both in the formation of specialists and researchers for the market, as mentioned above, and in the demand by professionals related to companies in the areas of energy and/or environment to develop their knowledge in the Program.
The professors also: act as area and ad-hoc consultants for CNPq, FAPERJ, FAPESP, CAPES and FINEP; are reviewers or members of the editorial body of many indexed scientific journals; are or have been members of FIRJAN's Environment Business Council, of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), of Itaipu Binacional's Board, of the Brazilian Physical Society (SBP), of Fundação Perseu Abramo's Board, and of the Body of Special Lecturers of the Brazilian Higher School of War.
Regarding the issue of environment and climate, it is worth noting the direct participation of professors on UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).