Mar 31, 2014

How can Latin America handle its energy supply challenges?

3 min
Follow @EnergyDigital

The March issue of Energy Digital magazine is live

The Latin America and Caribbean region must optimize its energy supply options nationally and across the region in order to support the needs of its growing economies and increasing population, according to a World Energy Council report to be presented today in Bogotá at an event organized by the Colombian member committee of the WEC.

The report, “World Energy Scenarios: Composing energy futures to 2050,” finds that meeting the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region’s growth in energy demand will be a significant challenge. 

The report assesses two contrasting policy scenarios.

- In the Jazz scenario, there is greater consumer focus on achieving energy access, affordability, and quality of supply with the use of best-available energy sources. Under this scenario, by 2050, the LAC region’s economy will be 4.5 times larger than in 2010 (in terms of trillion U.S. $ GDP in 2010 figures), while total primary energy supply will grow by 2.3 times.

- In the Symphony scenario, there is voter consensus on driving environmental sustainability and energy security through corresponding practices and policies. In this scenario, by 2050, the LAC regional economy will grow less significantly, by nearly 3.8 times, while total primary energy supply will grow by nearly 1.8 times.

“Our study finds that even in the best case, the growth of energy supply in the region will still be insufficient to meet the rising energy demand associated with economic growth,” says Professor Karl Rose, senior director of the WEC study, who presents the findings today at the WEC Colombia event.

Meeting the future energy demand in electricity alone will require between U.S. $1.33 trillion to U.S. $1.36 trillion of cumulative investment from 2010 to 2050.

The study also finds that in Latin America, large hydropower will continue to dominate the energy mix until 2050, and a major challenge will be in building the necessary infrastructure to meet future demand.

Globally, the study sees a doubling of energy demand by 2050, driven by non-OECD growth. To meet this demand, total global primary energy supply is set to increase by between 27 percent and 61 percent.

According to Rose, optimizing the region’s energy market structure will be crucial to solving the gap in demand and supply.

“Latin America and Caribbean region have a fragmented energy market,” he says. “This fragmentation has been hindering the effective use of energy resources nationally and across the region, and has compromised the competitiveness of national energy markets.”  

The World Energy Council will conduct a more detailed study on Latin America with analysis of select countries. The impact of water as a scarce resource and the role of large-scale hydropower in the region are amongst the themes that will be examined in depth. It will release the results during the WEC’s annual Executive Assembly, to be held this October in Cartagena, Colombia.

“The WEC’s Jazz and Symphony scenarios show that despite variations in regional priorities and solutions, the common global message is how choosing one policy solution or the other can have significant impact on the energy sector,” said José Antonio Vargas Lleras, the World Energy Council’s vice-chair for the LAC region, and who comes from Colombia. “It’s clear that concerted urgent action is needed now from governments and industry to meet our common challenges.”

Share article

May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

Share article