“This technology is undergoing development and, for the moment, unit prices are high, but without any doubt, energy development is proceeding,” Alfonso Blanco told a conference organised by Russia’s Centre for Iberoamerican Studies and the Global Energy Association “Latin America and the Caribbean region could well become an exporter of such energy.”
Blanco recalled that “green” hydrogen, produced with renewable energy sources and electrolysis with no CO2 emissions, can be used as a basis for a number of other products, which are easier to transport.
Latin America, he said, has ample reserves of fresh water needed for this process.
“In the Atacama desert, there are excellent conditions for renewable energy sources and competitive hydrogen production — and that provides opportunities for decarbonisation,” he told the conference.
Blanco said data showed that 29 % of Latin America’s energy balance is made up of renewable sources. The region is also a leader in biomass production as an energy source and the solar and wind energy it generates are already quite competitive.
“In northern Chile, a megawatt costs less than $20,” he said. “We firmly believe that we can make the transition to decarbonisation. We are big supporters. We pay the highest price for climate change while being responsible for only 5 % of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.”
Blaco also said that Latin America and the Caribbean made up the most diverse region on Earth and the countries within the region had to act not only at a national level, but at a regional and global level as well.
“Integration is vital in order to work more effectively,” he said in summing up.
Sergio Abreu, General Secretary of the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA / ALADI), also called for coordinated efforts from different countries in adopting decisions and strategies in the field of energy.
“Every country pursues its own policy, adopts its own decisions in terms of energy, but sometimes these are not well coordinated,” he said.
“We need to reconcile different ideological positions. As general secretary, I believe that is our duty to make clear that countries together must develop a strategic policy no matter what the ideological or geopolitical divergences may be.”