MONTEVIDEO – Senior officials from the member-states of the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) gathered on Monday for Energy Week 2018.
OLADE executive secretary Alfonso Blanco told EFE that a “general overview” will be provided at both the conferences and the meetings regarding the region, adding that the situation of energy access in the area will have a “very important” role.
He emphasized that there is still much more to be done but that Latin America has evolved a good deal given that the number of people without access to electricity has declined from 40 million to 22 million in the last decade.
An energy specialist with the Inter-American Development Bank, Natacha Marzolf, pointed out during the opening session that 85 million people in the region do not have access to sustainable ways of cooking their food.
According to Marzolf, 19 countries in the region have developed renewable energy policies.
“Nowadays, renewable energy can compete with fossil fuels. That has been made possible, in large part, by reducing the costs of energy such as wind and photovoltaic (power),” she said.
Blanco said that Costa Rica, Paraguay and Uruguay are the three countries in Latin America that stand out in terms of incorporating renewable energy sources into their power grid.
Along those lines, Uruguayan Undersecretary of Industry, Energy and Mining Guillermo Moncecchi told the press that although his country is “preparing very well,” his ministry is never complacent.