Energy data observatory launched for Latin America and Caribbean


An Energy Hub is launched as one of three observatories to increase the availability of data for infrastructure planning in the LAC region.

The three observatories for energy, transport and water and sanitation are an initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Their aim is to provide access to reliable and up-to-date data in the respective sectors to plan infrastructure investments and speed up development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Latin America and the Caribbean Energy Hub is the first to be launched, in collaboration with the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) and other partners.

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The Hub’s objective is to set up a digital platform that gathers data from across the region to boost research and dissemination of experiences. It will also promote energy policy innovation, creative research, and intersectoral collaboration to help Latin American countries tackle their energy challenges.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, data availability is limited. This hinders efforts to optimise sector planning, develop effective public policies and use existing infrastructure. It also discourages private sector investments. The observatories will aim to overcome this limited availability of data in the three sectors.

The Observatory of Human Mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean will collect and process information from 29 cities throughout the region with a focus on universal access, efficiency and quality, safety and clean mobility. Additionally, it will promote the adoption of data analytics to help cities design public policies on mobility.

The Latin American and the Caribbean Water and Sanitation Observatory will be a platform containing reliable and timely information to help monitor progress on the water and sanitation Sustainable Development Goals.

The observatories will operate through web platforms. They will be open to all but are expected to be of most interest to stakeholders involved in developing public policies and infrastructure in the region.

One expected result is increased knowledge of best infrastructure policies for the region that will in turn favour the development and deployment of clean technologies, according to an IDB statement.

A July report from the IDB argues that to close its infrastructure gap, Latin America and the Caribbean needs to become more efficient at investing in infrastructure and regulating a new range of disruptive services. For example, in the energy sector countries need to make the most of new opportunities presented by the declining costs of new generation and storage technologies, the proliferation of electrification in different energy usages and digitalisation.