Latin America, Caribbean to be R.E.-dependent by 2050


According to a report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank, Latin America and the Caribbean’s renewable energy potential is large enough to cover the region’s need for power by 2050.


The report, titled “Rethinking our Energy Future,” projects that Latin America and Caribbean’s potential for renewable energy can supply them with power enough to fulfill their 2050 needs 22 times over. This feat is made possible because of lower prices and new developments in technology that make renewable energy sources a viable alternative.


Currently, Latin America generates 1.3 petawatt-hours of electricity, a figure which will rise between 2.5 and 3.5 petawatt-hours by 2050 due to demand. Renewable energy sources, such as biomass, geothermal, solar, wave, and wind, can supply the region with over 80 petawatt-hours of electricity – 1 petawatt-hour is equivalent to 1 trillion kilowatt-hours, around 3 times the amount of power Mexico consumes in a year.


“With this study we seek to promote concrete action and public-private partnerships, by putting into perspective the magnitude of available renewable sources, outlining their broaded benefits and illustrating policy options,” said I.D.B.’s head of Climate Change Division and lead author of the report Walter Vergara.


“Renewables are becoming a viable and attractive option that needs to be explored,” I.D.B. president Luis Alberto Moreno pointed out.


Mr. Moreno said that though Latin America uses more renewable energy than any other region in the world, it is faced with a difficult decision of increasing its power generation without having to harm the environment. Another issue that Latin America must address in order to realize its potential is to modernize its policy and regulatory frameworks as well as scale up investments.


The report commissioned by I.D.B. will be presented in Bogota at the Global Green Growth Forum Latin America and the Caribbean (3GF LAC) this week.