Latin America and Caribbean Poised for Rapid Renewable Energy Growth as Sector Gains Global Momentum
February 24, 2011 - The inaugural Renewable Energy Finance Forum - Latin America & the Caribbean (REFF-LAC) hosted by the Latin American Council on Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE), the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), and Euromoney Energy Events in Miami this week brought together more than 160 policy makers, industry executives and investors to discuss capitalizing on the rapidly growing renewable energy industry in the region.
"We are in a stronger market for renewable resources than ever before - and the market is not just New York or London, it is global," said ACORE President Michael Eckhart. "The outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean within this global context is very positive. The region is presenting greater opportunities and fewer risks than in the past. It's clear following the REFF-LAC conference that the global financial community is poised to capitalize on Latin America as the next viable market for renewable energy development."
Bill Holmberg, CEO of LAC-CORE, echoed the importance of the region by highlighting President Obama's Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA). "Advancing renewable energy throughout the Americas is LAC-CORE-s primary focus, and the ECPA provides the needed leadership and momentum to forge ahead," explained Holmberg. "REFF-LAC was an important conference to bring the needed unity and focus on the Latin American renewable energy market that will generate the necessary capital for scale-up."
Speakers from leading renewable energy companies, investment institutions and government organizations focused on moving quickly to capitalize on market opportunity and driving the renewable industry forward through policy, funding and commercialization.
Pablo Reyes, board member, LAC-CORE, and Director of the Center of Strategic Studies for Latin America explained the organization's vision for the region: "We created the Latin American Council on Renewable Energy to extend what ACORE has accomplished in the United States to Latin America. Our main goal is to build the business case for investment in renewable energy development and to connect Latin America with global markets and opportunities to drive the growth of the sector."
Keynote speakers included:
JosÃ© MarÃa Figueres, Managing Partner, IJ Partners SA, Former President of Costa Rica
"Renewable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean is not only an economic opportunity, but a moral and ethical one as well. In a world with finite resources, and increasing climate change, the only way forward is the transition to a low carbon economy. In doing so, we must also provide access to energy for 35 million Latin Americans without it today. To meet the region's increasing energy demands, we must prioritize energy efficiency measures - by far the most cost effective form of renewable energy."
Marcelo Tokman, Vice President for Latin America, Vestas
"Latin America has an abundant pool of renewable--particularly solar, wind, bio and geothermal. The right incentives, regulations and policies can fuel the growth process when combined with direct investment. The outlook is positive and governments are actively working to solve them through energy auctions that seek to reduce costs while providing long term certainty. Transparency, longevity and certainty are necessary for success of renewable energy moving forward."
Juan Manuel Urriola Tam, National Energy Secretary, Panama
"Rapid global development has created growing energy needs that must be addressed with resources other than limited fossil fuels. The fact that renewable technologies such as wind have become more efficient and affordable opens doors for competitiveness and development. Key projects in the region led by the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) are paving the way to have large-scale renewable energy generation in the region."
Delegates from more than 25 countries participated, including Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, and a host of the Caribbean nations, in addition to the USA and overseas.
Upcoming conferences include REFF-Wall Street, taking place in New York City June 21-22; RETECH 2011, to be held in Washington D.C. September 20-22; REFF-West in San Francisco, September 26-27; and the ECPA meeting, co-hosted by the US Department of Energy, the Organization of American States and the Institute of the Americas from April 7-8th in Panama.
ACORE, a 501(c)(3) membership non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, is dedicated to bringing renewable energy into the mainstream of the US economy and lifestyle through research and communications programs and membership committees. ACORE'S membership works in all sectors of the renewable energy industries including wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy, biomass, biofuels, and waste energy. ACORE provides a common platform for the wide range of interests in the renewable energy community including end users, technology companies, manufacturers, utilities, professional service firms, financial institutions, colleges and universities, associations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. ACORE serves as a thought leadership forum through which these parties work together on common interests. ACORE co-organizes the REFF-Wall Street and REFF-West Finance Conferences, the RETECH All-Renewables Energy Conference and Exhibition, the Phase II National Policy Forum in Washington, DC, and hosts both domestic and global policy events furthering the mission of renewable energy. Additional information is available at www.acore.org.
The Latin American and Caribbean Council On Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE) is currently headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a regional office in Bogota, Colombia. LAC-CORE is an organization of member companies and institutions that are dedicated to bringing renewable energy and energy efficiency to the forefront of Latin America and the Caribbean. LAC-CORE seeks to bring renewable energy into the mainstream of the Latin American and Caribbean regions, via diverse outlets such as regional economy, industry, trade, government, environment, and climate change. By engaging these regions on multiple levels, LAC-CORE aims to reduce regional dependence on fossil fuels, improving health, safety, and economic security in the hemisphere.
About Euromoney Energy Events:
Euromoney Energy Events, part of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, is a leading international events company that organises high-profile conferences for clean energy professionals worldwide. Our diverse portfolio of events brings together senior delegates from the renewable energy and cleantech industries with investors, financiers and other professionals. The Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) series was launched in 1999 in London, and has since grown into a portfolio of internationally renowned events that take place annually in seven cities spanning Europe, the US, Asia and Latin America. These include REFF Wall Street (New York), REFF London (London), REFF India (New Delhi), REFF West (San Francisco) and REFF Canada (Toronto). For more information visit www.euromoneyenergy.com.