Lender sees surge in Latin America renewables, including hydro

The head of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) said May 21 that the share of renewable energy development, including hydropower, is increasing rapidly in Latin America, currently generating one-fourth of the region’s electricity.

IADB President Luis Alberto Moreno told a sustainable energy conference in Tel Aviv that renewable energies could generate half of Latin America’s electricity by 2030.

�The IADB is providing pre-investment resources to Latin American and Caribbean countries to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and accelerate the adoption of new regulatory frameworks,� Moreno said. (HNN 5/22/08)

The lender said hydropower accounts for one-tenth of the region’s total energy share and is expected to reach 15 percent by 2018. He added there is growing interest in small-scale hydropower systems that have low up-front costs, minor environmental effects, and few of the adverse social consequences that sometimes are attributed to large dams.

Similarly, Moreno noted advances in the areas of solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuel energies.

Moreno said Latin America is confronted by a paradox: Although the region must meet growing energy demands to enhance socio-economic development, conventional energy use has exacerbated climate change and undermined human development.

�I therefore strongly believe that we must increase the availability and use of renewable energies, boost energy efficiency, and promote only the most sustainable biofuels that do not compete with food production,� he said.

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