PANAMA CITY – The sharp reduction in costs for clean energy generation, as well as heightened environmental concerns globally, make it hard to conceive that renewables will be pushed aside in favor of coal, the chief operating officer of US-based electricity producer AES Corp. told EFE.
Bernerd Da Santos, a Venezuelan-born executive, said at the APEX Summit 2017, an event in Panama City that brings together top AES executives and energy industry experts from the 17 countries where it operates, that part of the equation for power companies in deciding how to invest was global awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions.
He said AES, which produces more than 8,000 megawatts of electricity in the United States, would not comment on President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to revive the US coal industry and instead would wait until he takes office and his administration’s energy policies become clear.
Throughout its history, AES has worked with different types of governments, always based on its principles of reliable, safe and environmentally friendly energy production, Da Santos said.
The senior executive said that renewable energy production began penetrating the electricity supply mix in Europe years ago and that there is now a big push for clean energy in Latin America.
“Not only to reduce carbon emissions but also due to technology that has reduced production costs by at least eight times,” he said.
Besides solar- and wind-powered plants, AES has run-of-river hydroelectric power stations and now is building a light natural gas power plant in Panama that is its cleanest fossil fuel-based facility.
Like other companies, AES has introduced clean production to balance supplies, remove volatility and provide reliable and clean capacity, Da Santos said, adding that he does not anticipate changes triggered by production costs.