Latin America and the Caribbean are turning to renewable energy, lowering carbon emissions
Countless of climate change conferences or talks have been held and they have since encouraged the world to turn to renewable energy sources. The most recent one is the climate talk in Morocco this month, which discussed on how to implement the Paris accord, signed by 200 countries. Lots of experts are still questioning how each nation can move to low-carbon energy to avoid the devastating effect of climate change.
However, some nations have proven they can. Latin America is the most obvious example.
South America region is facing some challenges in curbing energy emissions, such as an increase in car ownership. However, the region now manages to utilize its renewable energy sources, thanks to its partnership with Chinese energy firms, as reported by the Fifth Column News.
Uruguay, for example, now is powered 100% by renewable energy, after installing more than 316 MW in 2015. While Chile's energy source mostly comes from solar energy and Argentina is cooperating with Chinese firms in investment in renewable energy sectors.
Argentina is one of the most lucrative markets in the alternative energy industry. The country has offered 17 electric power generation projects from renewable sources, with a total capacity of 1,109 MW. The total required investment is around at USD 1.8 billion for 12 wind power projects, one biogas, and four solar photovoltaic projects.
China-based Envision won four energy projects, with a total capacity of 185 MW of the 708 MW in the provinces of Neuquén and Rio Negro, Southern Argentina. According to Ernesto Fernandez from Argentine-Chinese Chamber of Production, Industry, and Commerce, China offers attractive financing platform for renewable energy industry. That's the reason why China becomes a major investor in the Argentine renewable energy sector.
It seems that Latin America and the Caribbean want to follow the footsteps of Costa Rica, which pledged to meet the Paris accord's goal to maintain the rise in the Earth's temperature below two degrees Celcius.
However, there are still some challenges to be tackled. Despite the fact that 96 percent of generation capacity comes from hydropower as stated in the report published in Par Latino, this source is becoming less reliable because of draughts. In addition, hydropower projects overlap several projects too. Consequently, some countries turn to natural gas-fired power to fulfill energy needs, at least for short term. However,investments in natural gas will force nations to rely on fossil fuels again, prolonging the Paris accord target to be achieved.
In order to meet the Paris accord goal, Latin America nations should build an infrastructure that backs up renewable energy system. Moreover, large investments should also be made to create low-carbon public transport system.
In order to make our planet a better place to live is not an overnight sensation. The conference is not enough without a willingness and a committment shown by the government and its citizens to work together and contribute, no matter how small it is. The responsibility to avoid the worst impact of climate change is in the peoples' hands.