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IEA holds high-level expert workshop in Chile on clean energy transitions in Latin America

Latam Workshop March 23

The IEA workshop in Santiago, Chile, to discuss clean energy transitions in Latin America.

The International Energy Agency held an in-person workshop in Santiago, Chile, last week to discuss the current state of clean energy transitions in Latin America and explore future developments.

Part of preparations for the IEA’s first ever World Energy Outlook special report on Latin America, the event brought together 160 senior government officials, energy experts, industry leaders and civil society representatives from 16 countries across the region.

“It is a historic moment for the International Energy Agency since – for the first time – we have the opportunity to focus on Latin America in a dedicated World Energy Outlook special report,” said IEA Deputy Executive Director Mary Burce Warlick in her opening remarks. “We trust that this special report and the dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders supporting its development will provide useful input to regional discussions about clean energy transitions and the policies that can advance them securely and affordably in a way that leaves no one behind.”

The workshop was formally opened by José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by introductory remarks by Executive Secretary Andrés Rebolledo of OLADE, the Latin American energy organisation, and a keynote address by US Deputy Secretary of Energy Dave Turk in which he encouraged policy makers to raise their ambition and take advantage of the opportunities provided by clean energy transitions.

The subsequent sessions featured keynote remarks by Chile’s Minister of Energy Diego Pardow on people-centred transitions, Deputy Minister of Costa Rica Ronny Rodríguez Chaves and Deputy Minister of Uruguay Walter Verri spoke about their countries’ energy transition experiences; and Argentina’s Deputy Secretary of Energy Planning Cecilia Garibotti discussed the role of renewables in the region. High-profile moderators included Agnes da Costa, Director of the Brazilian power regulator ANEEL; Luiz Barroso, a former President of the Brazilian energy planning agency EPE, and Professor Luisa Palacios of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

The workshop focused on five themes: the state of the regional energy transition and how to turn national pledges into action; hydropower, bioenergy and variable renewables; people-centred clean energy transition pathways; clean transport, sustainable cities and energy efficiency; and opportunities within clean energy to attract investment and optimise resources.

Countries from the region have nominated focal points who will be closely involved in the production of the IEA special report on Latin America to ensure it reflects the realities on the ground. The report will be released in the fourth quarter of 2023.