The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) have expanded their partnership to boost renewable energy adoption, thereby accelerating economic recovery against COVID-19.
OLADE and IRENA will promote renewable energy investment and financing, as well as energy integration in the region.
Up to $45 billion is required per year between now and mid-century – an increase of more than 10% over current plans and policies, according to IRENA.
Accelerating renewables would help Latin America and the Caribbean to create 3 million jobs as the regions battle COVID-19 and offer economic returns of between $3 and $8 dollars on every dollar invested in the energy transformation.
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Amplifying renewables would also provide the Latin-American region with a long-term strategy to address social inequality, energy access and energy security, according to IRENA and OLEDA.
Intensifying renewables projects would reduce carbon emissions in the region by 21% by 2030 and align the region with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Alfonso Blanco, the executive secretary of OLADE, said: “It is our core priority to help OLADE member countries improve energy access and security of energy supply in socially, technically and economically convenient conditions, promoting the incorporation of clean energy resources and efficient technologies.
“It is in this context, strengthened collaboration between OLADE and IRENA can support the achievement of deeper energy transitions in the region, accounting for a diverse set of national circumstances and in line with the sustainable development objectives.”
Francesco La Camera, the director-general of IRENA, adds: “We stand together with OLADE in ensuring there is collective regional recognition of the socio-economic potential of a green recovery built around the energy transformation.
“While the region is diverse, all countries within it seek to benefit from higher shares of renewables, from enhanced energy security and lower system costs to widespread job creation, improved health and economic growth. The decisions made by policymakers today must seek to build a future of stability and prosperity, rather than prolong the unsustainable systems of the past.”
The partnership follows the approval of The Lima Declaration by members of OLADE in November 2019.
The declaration established energy complementarity and integration as a regional priority, promoting the creation and revitalisation of regional energy markets, including renewable energy.
OLADE member countries also agreed to harmonise the energy transition with economic growth and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In 2019, total regional capacity increased by around 12GW and states that the region’s solar energy capacity alone could grow by a factor of 40 by 2050 to more than 280 GW, thanks to an abundant resource endowment and strong enabling policies.