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Latin America & The Caribbean Network

Shaping the future of energy in Latin America & The Caribbean

Latin America & The Caribbean Network

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, DominicanRepublic, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago and Uruguay are the current 12 Member Committees in Latin America. This extensive network brings together the key energy leaders from the region, including Ministers and government officials, CEOs, academics, energy experts, among others; to discuss and work for a sustainable energy system in the region. 

Council’s activities in Latin America and the Caribbean region include the organization of different events, at regional and national level; the development of region specific content. In addition, some member committees organise World Energy Academy Courses to contribute on capacity building of industry professionals in the country; the Council actively engages young professionals from the region through its Future Energy Leaders’ Programme (FEL-100)  as well as it collaborates with other regional organizations to advance in the development of sustainable energy systems. 

Regional events for Latin America & the Caribbean are hosted annually or bi-annually, rotating among the different Member Committees. These events seek to bring together top level public and private sector representatives to discuss critical energy issues affecting Latin America & the Caribbean. These events are organised by the Council’s Member Committees in the region with strong support from our regional team. 

The next regional event will be hosted by Argentina 13th and 14th June 2018. The Latin American Energy Forum is organised by the Argentine Committee of the World Energy Council and sponsored by the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Argentina. This events represents the largest regional opportunity to facilitate dialogue and communication among energy leaders in the region on the critic issues that affect the world of energy. These meetings are promoted by countries that have a great interest in the global energy transition. 

This meeting, which has been declared a side event in the framework of the G-20 energy meetings, will gather Ministers, senior executives of the World Energy Council member companies as well as their managers; and high-level guests who together will share their vision and promote the discussion of decisive aspects, as well as actions that can be implemented for the development of the region. 

The Regional Forum provide an important milestone and build on the World Energy Council’s unique ability to convene this powerful energy leaders’ community to address more specific issues and challenges in a targeted regional context. 

The 2016 regional event took place in Rio de Janeiro (July 2016) with 180 high level participants. Discussions centred on energy integration projects , the resilience challenges in the region and the road ahead COP21. 

Previous Regional events were hosted by Ecuadoron September 10-11, 2015, in partnership with the Union of South American Nations -UNASUR- and the Ministry of Renewable Energy and Electricity and by Colombia in 2014 together with the Council’s Executive Assembly and World Energy Leaders’ Summit. This meeting gathered over 700 high-level energy representatives from around the world to discuss topics including energy sustainability and regional integration. 

In addition to Regional Events, Members from the region constantly host local events to discuss national priorities. Please refer to our events page for further information. 

Regional content 

The Council is working on a Latin America Scenarios Deep Dive which will provide a regional insight within the global Scenarios context, enabling corporate strategists to test the robustness of their key strategy and investment decisions and policymakers to test the robustness of their policy decisions. The deep dive will also be a valuable tool for decision-makers to assess the gamechangers of tomorrow and to deepen understanding of the key driving forces for the region’s energy sector. 

Furthermore, 5 Member Committees in the region together with the Council have developed National Issues Monitor maps. This tool enables to identify the national priorities of energy leaders in the different countries, compare them with the regional and global priorities and is a great tool for strategy leaders and decision makers to understand the issues affecting the energy sector at country, region and global level. 

The main purpose of the World Energy Academy is to build a specialised environment for informed discussion in the energy field. The Academy seeks to provide basic energy concepts and strategic vision on the key challenges facing the energy sector which will allow professionals to understand the strategic role energy plays and the importance of building a sustainable energy system. The Academy is aimed at a broad audience, professionals from different backgrounds which are interested in the energy sector as well as post graduate students, journalists, etc. The course consists of 12 sessions of 3 hours, where high-level experts give classes on different energy topics based on the Council’s studies. The course is conducted virtually in some countries and in person in other cases. 

The Latin American region has been a leader of this initiative which was born in Argentina in 2014. The Academy is currently run by individual Member Committees in Argentina, Colombia and Brazil and over 500 students have already graduated from the courses. 

The Council closely works with organizations in the region to enhance joint efforts to develop a sustainable regional energy system. 

The Council has a strong collaboration with CAF- Development Bank of Latin America, developing joint activities throughout the year in different countries in Latin America. In addition, the Council collaborates with CIER and ARPEL. 

Additionally, the World Energy Council in Latin America has joined efforts with ALADI, ARPEL, ECLAC, CIER, OAS and OLADE with the financial support and institutional participation of CAF .This regional Energy Agenda, has developed studies of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) energy sector and its integration into the global context, resulting in a diagnosis of the current state of the energy sector in LAC region and the identification of the key issues to be considered. The group is currently undergoing the following initiatives: 

  1. Energy Efficiency Programme: the overall objective of the program is to define a common strategy adapted to the current Energy Efficiency situation in the region with an action plan for the development of energy efficiency markets. 
  2. PRESER: This project seeks to identify specific energy projects which if developed will have a significant contribution to the energy sector in the region. 
  3. UNILA: Develop a course to prepare professionals from the region and transfer knowledge on elements of analysis and decision making, as well as lessons learned and prospects for energy integration in Latin America and the Caribbean, on a multi-sectorial regional academic environment, and multidisciplinary. 

Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean 

Latin America & The Caribbean Network, issues monitor, critical uncertainties and action priorities

REGIONAL OVERVIEW & CONTEXT

REGIONAL OVERVIEW & CONTEXT Economic Growth and Geopolitics dominate t the uncertainties landscape in Latin America and the Caribbean. Digital technologies are also seen as Critical Uncertainties because of their potential value to promote environmental sustainability and improve public services in urban areas. Action Priorities focus on decarbonisation and renewable technologies as solutions for improved affordability and sustainability of the sector. Energy Efficiency appears as the big theme, with clear improvement measures being implemented across the region.

CRITICAL UNCERTAINTIES & ACTION PRIORITIES

US Policy emerges as an issue of higher uncertainty in the region and relates to the US-China trade dispute and concerns over the impact of these dynamics on investments. The US and China are the biggest sources of foreign direct investment in the Latin American and Caribbean energy sector. Trade between the U.S. and the region has been growing rapidly, led by Mexico, with oil and gas making up a large proportion of these exchanges. China has invested heavily in renewable and non-renewable energy infrastructure in recent years.

Economic Growth is a concern across the region with the IMF reporting a slowdown in growth in 2019 to 0.2% from 1% in 2018. It attributed this to sluggish global economic growth, weak commodity prices and volatile capital flows. Although growth is expected to pick up in 2020, downside risks persist because of policy uncertainty in some countries and the spillover effect of financial turmoil in Argentina and an economic slowdown in Venezuela, where oil production has fallen sharply because of internal political tensions and U.S. sanctions. Reducing high public debt in some countries is a priority.

Commodity Prices also appear as a Critical Uncertainty for a region that is a major exporter of raw materials and commodities. Oil exporting countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico are exposed to oil price volatility and weaker oil prices have slowed investment in infrastructure needed to maintain their positions as exporters. The trade dispute between the United States and China has worsened the situation as goods from the region face increasing tariffs from both countries.

Energy Efficiency is closely associated with sustainability efforts. Appliance labelling programmes and building efficiency standards are being implemented. However, energy subsidies remain in place in several countries and complicate the effort to curb energy consumption and adds to the fiscal burden of oil-importing countries. Energy efficiency measures are seen as part of an energy security strategy to reduce import dependence and increase sector resiliency.

Renewable Energies remain an Action Priority. Several countries in the region use renewables as their main source of energy and this is set to increases in coming years. The region has significant wind and solar potential that can help to relieve reliance on large hydro and biofuels/ biomass during droughts and other extreme weather events. The Brazilian Government has taken a step towards expanding the share of renewables by giving the go-ahead for the start of commercial operations from the Sobrado 1 photovoltaic (PV) plant and the Tamandua Mirim 2 and Acaua wind farms (which have a combined capacity of 83.88 MW).

Digitalisation is seen as an action priority for both public and private sector stakeholders throughout the region. In 2018, Chile introduced blockchain technology to provide real-time information on price, costs, compliance and pollution data as part of transparency measures. In Panama, drones with advanced data and image processing software are being used to improve network stability. However, progress in digitalisation is hindered by the slow pace of regulatory reforms.

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World Energy Issues Monitor
World Energy Issues Monitor
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Claudia Cronenbold

Claudia Cronenbold

Vice Chair
Latin America and Caribbean Network

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Andrea Arrobo

Andrea Arrobo

Regional Manager
Latin America and Caribbean Network

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