Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Report: Renewable Energy Could Power all of Latin America and Caribbean.


In 2012, global investments in alternative renewable technologies (solar, wind, geothermal, ocean, small-scale hydropower and advanced bio-energy) and traditional hydropower amounted to $244 billion, of which Latin America represented a modest 5.4 percent. To tap into its vast potential, the region must modernize its policy and regulatory frameworks and scale up investments.


While investments in renewable energy have been limited so far, the study argues that major new developments are underway in Latin America. Wind is the fastest growing non-traditional renewable source in the region. Mexico is the fifth largest producer of geothermal energy in the world and Colombia, Panama and Ecuador are exploring their own resources. Biomass, solar and wind are increasingly being used in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina and Chile.


The study concludes that, regardless how each country may shape its energy policy, increasing the penetration and use of non-traditional renewables makes sense for Latin America and the Caribbean.


The Inter-American Development Bank supports programs to improve energy efficiency, foster cross-border energy integration, and diversify the energy matrix by sustainably exploiting renewable and non-renewable energy sources.


At present, the IDB is financing large-scale wind farms, solar power systems for rural areas, biofuel facilities that co-generate electricity and programs to promote efficient lighting. It also supports retrofitting hydroelectric facilities with more efficient turbines and ensuring that new dams and natural gas projects meet stricter social and environmental standards.



Rethinking our Energy Future

Inter-American Development Bank