That a country like El Salvador, poor and with many social needs, would embark on an effort to attract so-called bitcoin mining, which demands a huge amount of energy and does not generate large numbers of jobs, is an extravagance that many find hard to digest.
Twenty years after the blackout that prompted nine months of rationing to keep the power grid from collapsing, Brazil may see a repeat of the traumatic situation, this time with a more obvious climate change undertone.
Latin America is investing too little in a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with only 2.2% of the region's stimulus funds spent on environmentally sustainable projects last year, according to a new platform
developed by Oxford University and the UN.
Visions of Grand Inga
, a proposed massive hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) powering much of Africa, have excited energy experts, investors, and governments for decades. The announcements this week by the Australian company
, Fortescue Metals Group
, and its chairman
, billionaire Andrew Forrest
, of their plans to develop Inga for green hydrogen
exports brings this vision a little closer to reality.
The industrial revolution took 100 years. The digital revolution, two decades. The next global revolution, the energy revolution, has already begun. But how fairly and how fast it happens is the biggest challenge of our time.
Chile is in a privileged position in the world to produce green hydrogen and boost the development of the new fuel thanks to the country’s optimal conditions for generating solar and wind energy, but the large investment required and the scarcity of water are two of the biggest obstacles to overcome.
Once a week a tonnage of fresh charcoal is dropped off at Sibangani Tshobe's rugged, pit-stop stall by a hired, battered old Bedford lorry. Small, makeshift trolleys — nicknamed Scania's — quickly cart off small loads and disappear into Old Pumula, the oldest suburb in the country’s second-largest city of Bulawayo.
Hit by the pandemic's socioeconomic and health impacts, Latin America is facing the challenge of financing an economic recovery based on a sustainable energy sector and a transition to clean sources of energy.
Latin America has lots of natural advantages for the coming energy transition. It already has the greenest power matrix in the world. While having the planet’s largest reserves of copper make it a key provider for international electrification programmes.
The situation of the energy transition in Central America and the Caribbean was the main issue debated this Friday 21st in the sessions at the XXX La Jolla Energy Conference, which is attended virtually by high officials, business delegates and analysts from the region.
Over the past decade, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) from China have carved out a niche as owners and operators of electric utilities in South American countries through acquisitions of energy grids. As SOEs shift from their previous role as mostly builders to investors in large energy assets, policymakers in South America and in Washington should consider the implications of having these companies at the helm of such services.
Yunia Cancio cooked with firewood until a few years ago, when a biodigester was built on her family’s El Renacer farm in Cabaiguán, a municipality in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spíritus, under the Biomass Cuba project. That change meant a lot for her family’s quality of life, but it was not the only one.
The gas producing countries of South America are debating on how to make better use of the resource and how to integrate the sector, amid geographical and infrastructural barriers.
"Until five years ago, we didn't know about the circular economy, but today our waste generates environmentally neutral products that also offer a return,” says José Luis Barrinat, manager of a cooperative that brings together some 550 small farmers in Monje, Argentina.
Several Latin American countries are stepping up the pace to generate hydrogen for various uses in transportation and industry, but they must first resolve several questions.
Standing on Punta Ventanilla, Carlos Vegas, 65, looks across at the industrial park which has been there most of his life. He looks at the impact of the 15 industries spread around the bay that connects the towns of Quintero and Puchuncaví, in central Chile.
"Biogas is worth gold to us, we can no longer live without it," Claudete Volkswey, a poultry farmer in the municipality of Toledo, in the southwestern state of Paraná, Brazil, said enthusiastically about the new source of energy that has allowed her to get a good night’s sleep again, because she no longer has to get up to stoke the fire every two hours.
As the world looks to address issues of gender equity, development and climate change, the importance of increasing the participation of women in the energy sector is gaining attention. To date, this topic has generally been framed around the underrepresentation of women in the energy workforce.
Salvadoran villager Maria Luz Rodriguez placed the cheese on top of the lasagna she was cooking outdoors, put the pan in her solar oven and glanced at the midday sun to be sure there was enough energy for cooking.
Indigenous farmers on communally owned lands have blocked since 2016 a private solar farm in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatan by means of legal action, due to the company’s failure to hold consultations with local native communities and the risk of environmental damage.
Crises, as the one we saw across the US and Mexico last week originated by Winter Storm Uri, provide ample material for reflection. This is particularly clear from a distant viewpoint and when benefitting from the fact of not being directly affected, as strong emotions and reactions that often bias our judgements are absent.