Generally speaking, the current energy model has faced a complex sustainability crisis, and the solution requires the consolidation of a new paradigm that mainly reduces carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and promotes a cleaner production, especially from renewable energy sources.

The necessary transition to a low-carbon economy, on the one hand, has been stumbling over diesel-emission fraud scandals (Dieselgate case) but, on the other hand, has been gaining ground with ads banning the sale of diesel and gasoline vehicles in several European countries (Norway and the Netherlands in 2025, the United Kingdom and France in 2040). The framework for moving to more market friendly incentive mechanisms, under the European Union (EU) competition law, State aid and the free movement of goods and services, can also provide key contributions. In addition to this transient context, there is also the recent amendment of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which sets a 30% energy efficiency target of 2030 for its Member States and investors.

However, further development will be necessary, particularly in terms of national plans and more effective implementation tools for energy conservation in terms of processing and use. After all, there are many benefits provided by the adoption of energy-efficient measures, ranging from the creation of new jobs and resumption of economic growth (GDP growth), through the reduction of light billing for consumers (domestic and industrial) and providing competitive advantages to companies (low costs of adhesion), to the implementation of a more environmentally friendly modelling (pollution mitigation) and strengthening of energy security and sovereignty (reduction of imports).

In the Ibero-Brazilian scenario, there is a long trajectory to be followed in order to reach a sustained (r)evolution. Brazil, despite its broad energy potential, has diversified its energy mix too slowly and timidly. Portugal and Spain, on the other hand, in spite of having become references in renewable electricity production and created integrated electricity markets (MIBEL and MIBGÁS), are still very dependent on countries that have primary resources, such as oil, natural gas and coal. Although the Iberian and Brazilian systems have essentially different energy conditions, they also have several common problems: regulatory instabilities, regulatory uncertainties, slow and bureaucratic administrative procedures, lack of coordination of public policies and competencies, tariff inefficiencies, lack of financial incentives, energy savings, environmental impacts, technical and technological climate issues, among others. These problems, in general, have blocked national and foreign investments in this sector and, consequently, made it impossible to make greater use of its potentialities.

Thus, there is the need to overcome multiple challenging scenarios in Brazil, Portugal and Spain, where new directions must be taken, so that there is indeed a paradigmatic transformation of the energy sector – at least in the Ibero-Brazilian context. There seems to be no doubt that the paths must be traced involving all sector players, as well as towards a full and effective deployment of new technologies – such as those related to smart cities, smart grids and electric mobility; cogeneration and decentralization of energy production; institution of energy efficiency projects in several segments (residential, services, industry, transportation, construction, etc.); feasibility of interconnection of alternative sources to the electric networks; creation of a more harmonized, intelligent and flexible regulated environment –, aiming at an energy transition that is, in fact, sustainable and efficient.

The relevance of CONIBEN 2019 is based on the promotion of a comprehensive discussion about the current and future dynamics of the energy sector in the Ibero-Brazilian context, so that the interested parties are motivated to contribute and identify the corresponding roles in this revolutionary and vital process, adapting their strategies to sustainability and energy efficiency.