Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean Towards a Regional Energy Transition

16 June 2022 |Virtual


Building on the mobilisation for accelerating the deployment of renewable technologies arising from the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy 2021, stakeholders across the world have developed Energy Compacts that indicate voluntary commitments of action, with specific targets and timelines, to drive the progress on the achievement of SDG 7, accelerating action for clean, affordable energy for all. More than 150 Energy Compacts from governments, businesses and other organisations were submitted for the High-level Dialogue, with enhanced ambitions and financial commitments through 2030.

The Renewable Energy for Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative (RELAC) was launched in December 2019 under the framework of the United Nations Secretary General's Climate Action Summit, with the objective of accelerating the carbon neutrality of electricity systems in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, while improving the resilience, competitiveness and sustainability of the sector.

In the context of its own Energy Compact, the RELAC initiative aims to achieve at least 70% of renewable energy participation in the region’s electricity matrix by 2030. Each member country will contribute to the LAC aggregated target according to its own national goals and conditions. RELAC brings together international agencies that support the energy transition in the region, with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as the Technical Secretariat of the initiative, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as one of the supporting agencies.

As part of the initiative, IDB and IRENA seek to contribute in the development of energy transition strategies across the region by supporting countries in identifying gaps, developing studies and prioritizing investments in order to overcome institutional, legal, planning, financial, technical and regulatory barriers for the acceleration of renewable energy deployment.

IRENA developed the Renewable Energy Roadmaps Programme, REmap, to provide strategies for the energy transition at the country and regional levels, with perspectives for 2030 and 2050. The aim of developing regional studies is to understand how a region can promote an energy transition pathway, acknowledging countries’ unique energy resources, socio-economic status, as well as institutional and regulatory endowments, while at the same time contributing to the global emission reduction objective and leveraging opportunities to meet regional energy and investment goals.

The REmap Central America study was published in March 2022 and uses the FlexTool analysis to develop scenarios that consider each country’s economic development, energy intensity, power sector context, as well as current initiatives, plans and pledges to tackle sectoral emissions. The study explores the importance of expanding the existing regional power sector integration through renewables and the role that energy efficiency and end-use sector electrification plays in accelerating the adoption of renewable technologies.

This virtual event served as a platform to highlight the outcomes of the Renewable Energy Roadmap for Central America study, discuss how these results can help countries identify challenges faced by an accelerated adoption of renewable technologies, plus insights on how an increased electricity supply can build towards the electrification of end-use sectors.

Closed by invitation only.

For any questions, please contact José Torón (JToron@irena.org) and Edna Soto (ERuiz@irena.org).