Talks on International Cooperation: A power grid for the whole of Latin America: Vision of the future or political illusion?

Energy transition in Latin America – helping in the fight against climate change.

A priority area of Latin American-German cooperation is the fight against climate change. One of the cornerstones of this process is supporting various countries in the region on their way towards energy transition, helping reduce CO2 emissions and thus in achieving the objectives of the 2030 Agenda. Whether solar energy in Mexico or wind energy in Chile – there is enormous room for improvement regarding Latin American countries’ use of renewable energy. 

However, relying almost exclusively on renewable sources for energy and electricity supply also harbours some risks, as seen in Brazil: long periods of drought in recent years have become a problem for hydropower. So what happens if there is a drought in Brazil, a lack of wind in Argentina or less sunshine than expected in Mexico? 

An interconnected regional system could help. A system of this type connecting the various power grids of individual countries has existed in Europe since 1951, making it possible to compensate for generation deficits in one region with surpluses from another. Latin America could benefit from the lessons learned in developing the interconnected European system – and knowledge-sharing is in full swing. Many bilateral initiatives already exist to integrate the power grids in order to create new markets and make the supply more reliable. 

But do specific projects to promote an extensive electricity grid already exist? In any case, is an intercontinental interconnected system in Latin America technically feasible at all? What specific political and social challenges could arise? So will an extensive electricity grid spanning the whole of Latin America actually be technically and politically feasible in future? 

These and further matters will be discussed by Juan Ignacio Sánchez Sanchis, Head of Department Energy Advisory, Oil & Gas, Spain, Portugal & LATAM from DNV GL; Túlio Alves, Managing Director from the Latin American Commission for Regional Energy Integration (CIER), Uruguay; and Isabel von Griesheim, Project Manager Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (4E) and Promotion of Geothermal Energy in Central America from GIZ, El Salvador. The guest speech will be provided by Prof. Christian Breyer, Professor of Solar Economics at the Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland.

The event is part of BMZ and GIZ’s Latin American and Caribbean Week.

Venue / Time

GIZ Berlin Representation
Reichpietschufer 20
10785 Berlin

Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 19:00 - 20:30


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