ECLAC/OAS: Southern Cone Regional Workshop Calls for Diversifying the Energy Matrix
story highlights

Authorities and Experts Discuss Energy Security and Integration in the Region 11 July 2008: Delegates to the Southern Cone Regional Workshop on Sustainable
Energy, which took place on 11 July 2008, in Santiago, Chile, identified
ensuring equal access to energy sources, diversifying the energy matrix, and
advancing towards regional energy alliances as some of the region’s key priorities.

The Workshop was the first of a series of five agreed upon during the
Inter-American Meeting of National Authorities and Experts on Energy for
Sustainable Development, which took place in March 2008 in Washington, DC, US.
The event was organized by the Department of Sustainable Development of the Organization
of American States (OAS) in collaboration with the Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and aimed to increase the
sustainability of the energy sector by enhancing cooperation between the
countries of the region. In her opening speech, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia
Bárcena explained that the countries of the region are analyzing the options to
responding to the food crisis and the surge in oil prices, noting that the
price increase had the benefit of providing an incentive to innovate and make
the transition to clean technologies that have a lesser impact on the
environment and climate change. She identified the need to evaluate the
potential of biofuels, solar energy and other renewables as one of the most
important challenges of the sub-region’s energy analysis. She specified that
the competition between biofuels and food production depended on the origin of  the energy source and outlined five key energy
priorities of the region: efficiency to reduce energy intensity; equity to
increase electricity distribution; diversification to contribute to the global
efforts to mitigate climate change through the development of, or the
elimination of the obstacles to, renewable energies and address
adaptation needs; investment in infrastructure to produce and transport energy;
and research, development and technology transfer. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza stressed the need to review
energy generation and consumption patterns, and promote a diversified energy
matrix. He also highlighted the benefits of large-scale renewable energy
systems. The next workshop will be held in the Bahamas on 23 July 2008. [ECLAC press release, 11 July 2008] [ECLAC Executive Secretary’s speech (in Spanish)]

related posts