Latin America: over 50,000 kms of coastline for offshore wind power

In recent years, Latin America has experienced sustained economic and population growth, with the consequent rise in energy demand. The World Bank and the International Energy Agency estimate that by 2030, global energy demand will have increased by 33% compared to 2011, with renewable energy covering 40% of this demand. In Latin America, the share of renewables in electricity generation by 2035 is estimated to stand at 71% (or 1,451 TWh) mainly thanks to contributions from hydroelectric power.

Although Latin America is a region with a wealth and abundance of renewable resources, it has failed to efficiently capture these resources with the correct planning compared to other regions. In the case of offshore wind energy, despite having over 50,000 kilometres of coastline, Latin America has not planned to supply its energy requirements by using this resource. The following article, written by Luis Armando Pagán, and originally published on LatinAmericanScience.org reviews the potential and the most interesting applications regarding some of the region’s countries.

Although there are Latin American countries that have taken advantage of their renewable resources in different ways, for example, more than half of Uruguay’s energy is supplied from renewable resources, there is one technology that has not been included as part of tomorrow’s energy policies: offshore wind power. This technology, already highly successful in Europe in countries such as the UK and Germany, has the potential to become a very important component in the energy mix of Latin American countries and in different applications, thereby guaranteeing quality of life for society.

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2015