Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | Updated at 3:16 PM ET


Latin America and the Caribbean are turning to renewable energy, lowering carbon emissions

First Posted: Nov 25, 2016 05:35 PM EST
Eco power wind turbines

Photo : Maria Wachala

We have seen countless of climate talks that encourage 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 make the Paris accord into effect, signed by 200 countries. Lots of experts are still debating how each nation can move to low-carbon energy to avoid the devastating effect of climate change.

However, some nations have managed to prove they can survive using renewable energy sources.  Latin America is the most obvious role model on how countries can be run by renewable energy. 

South America region is still 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 companies, as  the Fifth Column News reports.

Uruguay, for example, now relies 100% on renewable energy, after installing more than 316 MW in 2015. While Chile's energy source is mostly dominated by solar energy and Argentina is inking a deal with Chinese firms in investment in renewable energy sectors.

Argentina is one of the most promising markets in the alternative energy industry. There were 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 was awarded four energy projects  in the  provinces of Neuquén and Rio Negro, Southern Argentina.  The total capacity of with a total capacity of 185 MW of the 708 MW. Ernesto Fernandez from  Argentine-Chinese Chamber of Production, Industry, and Commerce stated, China offers attractive financing platform for renewable energy sector. That's the reason why China becomes a major investor in the Argentine renewable energy industry.

It seems that Latin America and the Caribbean want to be like Costa Rica, which aimed to meet the Paris accord's goal to maintain the rise in the Earth's temperature below two degrees Celcius.

However, the region needs to tackle some challenges. Despite the fact that 96 percent of  generation capacity comes from hydropower as  Par Latino stated in its report.This source is becoming less reliable because of draughts. In addition, some projects overlap other energy-related projects too. Consequently, some countries are turning to natural gas-fired power to fulfill energy needs, at least for short term. However, natural gas investment will force nations to heavily depend on fossil fuels again. As a result, this will make the process of meeting the Paris deal goals longer than targeted.

Therefore,  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 eco-friendly public transportation system.

In order to make our planet a better place to live, the process is not instant. The conference is not enough without our willingness and commitment to creating our planet a better place to live. 

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