Renewable Energy in the Americas: Charging Ahead

Renewable Energy in the Americas: Charging Ahead

Last year, during the run up to the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Madrid, Latin America set an ambitious, regional target – to have 70 percent of its energy use come from renewable sources by 2030.

As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on economies throughout the region, the renewable energy sector may provide a unique opportunity for attracting foreign direct investment and creating jobs in the formal sector, all the while reducing the region’s carbon footprint to mitigate climate change.

The production costs of clean energy have declined dramatically in recent years; this cost reduction constitutes an economic boon for nations with limited supplies of traditional energy such as oil and gas, but with some of the most abundant sources of renewable energy on the planet—including solar, wind, and geothermal. At the same time, Latin American countries that remain major producers of oil, gas, and coal can significantly reduce carbon emissions by shifting their domestic energy matrices to renewable sources. Chile and Uruguay have made tremendous strides in developing renewable energy capacities that meet growing energy demand. While Argentina has had a lower percentage of its total energy generation from renewable sources, the country has invested heavily in developing the sector in recent years.