The Outlook for Renewable Energy in Latin America: A Banker’s View

Taking the long view, this article makes the case that the renewable energy industry is one third of the way into a century long success story. Latin America has all the requisite stakeholders in place: financial institutions, technology providers, and certainly an abundance of natural resources. Ultimate success depends on global priorities: the winning energy sources will be the ones that meet humanity’s goals best. If the goal is lowest-cost energy, then fossil fuels will win – until it runs out. If the goal is low cost and least pollution, then natural gas and renewables will win. If the goal is least impact on global warming, then nuclear power and renewable energy will win.

Michael Eckhart
Mike Eckhart

Invited Contributor: Michael Eckhart authored this piece exclusively for The Review. He is Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability for Citigroup in New York City.

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The Energy Industry in Bolivia

Oscar Caballero

Invited Contributor: Oscar Caballero authored this piece exclusively for The Review. As Country Managing Partner at E&Y he represented companies such as ExxonMobil and Carana Corporation in Bolivia, and has been advisor to multilateral institutions such as the IADB; CAF; and the IFC. Continue reading “The Energy Industry in Bolivia”

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The Aura Solar Initiative Triggers New Energy Frontier in Mexico

With its world-class solar resource and location, Mexico is a major candidate for solar energy development: with an average solar radiation around 5.8 kWh/m2 per day, it receives twice as much solar resource as Germany, for example. Despite this privileged resource, the ground-mounted photovoltaic capacity in the country is only about 6 megawatts. This implies a huge untapped potential, amidst the increasing cost of energy in the country and the exceptional regulatory framework for renewable energy.

Hector Olea
Hector Olea

Invited Contributor: Hector Olea authored this piece exclusively for The Review. He is CEO of Gauss Energia, a firm specialized in Mexico’s energy sector. From 1995 to 2000 Hector was Chairman of the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE).

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Bankability Aspects of Renewable Projects in Latin America

Increasing economic growth in Latin American countries, growing environmental awareness, initiatives by agencies such as the Inter-American Development Bank and International Finance Corporation, and reducing cost of renewable technologies have provided many regional governments the impetus to implementing diverse policies to attract new investment in the renewable energy sector.

Jaya Viswanadha
Jaya Viswanadha

Invited Contributor: Jaya Viswanadha authored this piece exclusively for The Review. She is a Managing Director in the Latin American Energy & Infrastructure Group at Crédit Agricole CIB in New York. She has over thirteen year’s experience in the project finance industry in Latin America, Europe and India.

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What the Native Americans Got Right

Kelly Williamson
Kelly Williamson

Invited Contributor: Kelly Williamson authored this piece exclusively for The Review.

You may be familiar with the anonymous Native American proverb that says,

“Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.” Continue reading “What the Native Americans Got Right”

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Why Argentina’s Renewable Energy Program Has Stalled: Biofuels

PART I: Biodiesel’s Success Story Getting Watered Down

This is the first of a three part series entitled, Why Argentina’s Renewable Energy Program Has Stalled. This article outlines Argentina’s initial success in first generation biodiesel, first as exporter to Europe then with an increasing domestic mandate market. However, success seems to have been short-lived as political decisions have adversely affected the industry’s further development, leading to declining exports and an erratic domestic market.

Carlos St James
Carlos St James

About the Author: Carlos St. James founded the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber; is a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy; founded and is chairman of the Middle East-Americas Energy Council; and publisher of The Latin American Energy Review.

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Panama’s Current Energy Situation, Leaning Towards Renewable Energies

Panama’s energy policy has as its primary goal encouraging the supply of energy to cover the country’s needs using energy efficiency, quality and trust as rincipal criteria while expanding access to services to energy consumers, promoting rationl and efficient use of energy and development of natural resources in a sustainable manner, protecting the environment and respecting the rights of investors in the sector.

The Panamanian government, in it’s commitment to diversify the energy matrix, impulses the electrical generation through renewable energies in the hopes of developing sustainable energy nationwide.

The Panamanian electric system is made up of three sectors: Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, where in the first sector we possess an installed capacity s follows: 61.3% hydro and 38.7% thermal and there are twenty nine private businesses registered en the wholesale market. Also, in the Transmission sector there is a monopoly in the form of the government-owned Empresa Estatal de Transmision S.A. (ETESA), whose tolls are regulated, and the Distribution sector has three registered companies and a national coverage of 90%.

Debido a la gran dependencia de generación térmica existente en el país y a que solo contamos en la actualidad con energía hidráulica, el Gobierno Panameño impulsa el desarrollo de proyectos eólicos, solares, de generación a base de gas natural y de biocombustibles, entre otros. De esta manera en el corto plazo se tienen proyecciones de hasta 540 MW de energía hidráulica, 220 MW de energía eólica y 5 MW de energía solar. De igual forma, en el mediano y largo plazo se pretenden construir 230MW adicionales de energía hidráulica, 100 MW adicionales de energía eólica y 600MW de generación térmica a base de gas natural y carbón, entre otros.

Adicionalmente, con la modificación a la ley de Biocombustibles, se deberá incluir un 5% de etanol en la mezcla de gasolina a partir del 1 de septiembre de 2013 en la Provincia de Panamá, incrementándose hasta un 10% en el 2016 a nivel nacional.

Due to the great dependency of the generation of termal energy that exists in the country and that we only actually count on hydraulic energy, the Panamanian government looks for the development of eolic and solar projects and on the generation of naturalgas and biofuel, among other sources of green energy. That way in the short term they have projected up to 540 MW of hydraulic energy, 220 MW of eolic energy, and 5 MW of solar energy. In the same way, in the médium and long term plan they seek to construct 230 MW aditional hydraulic energy, 100 MW aditional eolic energy, and a 600 MW generation of termal energy based in natural gas and carbón, among others. Aditionally, with the modification of the Biofuels law, they should be including a 5% of ethanol going up tp 10% in 2016 at a national level.

Además de la diversificación energética, el Gobierno de Panamá impulsa el uso racional y eficiente de la energía a través de la Ley 69 de 2012, que establece los lineamientos generales de la política nacional para el uso racional y eficiente de la energía (UREE) en el territorio nacional, cuya finalidad es proponer medidas necesarias para lograr reducir el gasto en energía y con ello mejorar los niveles de competitividad dentro de los sectores industrial, comercial y la sociedad en general, al igual que disminuir la dependencia de los combustibles fósiles tradicionales y sus derivados.

The Panamanian government also seeks the rational and efficient use of energy through the 69 law of 2012, which established the underlying guidelines of national politics for the rational and efficient use of the (UREE) energy on national territory, with the goal being to go through necessary lengths to reduce the cost of energy and to improve the competition between the industrial, commerical, and social sectors in general and to diminish dependance on traditional fossil fuels and their derivatives.

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