2050, a renewable future for the Latin America-Caribbean region

Maje Solar Plant, 22 MW, Perú

A recent paper commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank argues that the potential for exploiting renewable energy resources in Latin America-Caribbean (hereinafter “LAC”) would be enough to supply the region’s forecast electricity demand twenty two times over by 2050. The paper concludes that the development of new renewable energy technologies, together with consistently decreasing production costs, means that solar and wind energy, amongst others, are ever more competitive with hydrocarbons in generating electricity.

The white paper, called “Rethinking Our Energy Future”, states that solar, geothermal, marine, wind and biomass resources available in the LAC region could produce around 80 PWh of electricity. To give this figure a value, 1 PWh equals 1 trillion kWh, nearly three times Mexico’s annual consumption.

The report defends the economic viability, investment opportunities and societal benefits of diversified energy sources other than fossil fuels, and warns of the need to eliminate current institutional barriers to the market in order to guarantee a change of energy model, which the report’s authors consider vital to mitigate the effects of climate change in the region.

Article published in: FuturENERGY September 2013