In recent years, Latin America has become a leader in the implementation of renewable energies in the world. However, there is still a long way to go, especially in terms of investment and regulation. Despite this, the future of renewable energies in our region shows promise, and the commitment of different countries and organizations to the growth of the use of clean energy as the main energy sources in the region has been evident. All this revolution arises in response to different challenges facing the planet today, one of which is climate change, mainly due to the use of fossil fuels in the generation of energy, and that is possibly expected, will be dispensable for the year 2050.
In Latin America, many countries have begun to take the lead in the use of their renewable resources. For example, in 2017 Costa Rica reached 300 days with the electricity supply from 100% clean energy, which is undoubtedly important taking into account its nearly 5 million inhabitants. In Uruguay, solar energy gains strength, allowing the recent inauguration of a photovoltaic plant with 1,540 c for the complete supply of the Carrasco airport. In countries such as Colombia, the potential for the use of renewable energies is significant due to the privileged location of the country, the climatic variations and natural resources it has.
According to recent studies and the favorable winds of the region, in La Guajira located in the northern zone of Colombia, it exists the wind potential to generate almost twice the total installed electric power capacity throughout the country, almost 16,700 megawatts, evidencing its great potential in terms of wind energy. In Argentina, the energy revolution has allowed the use of solar, wind and other unconventional sources to generate around 4,500 megawatts of electricity.
In Peru, there is a clear challenge to bring electricity to more than 2.2 million people promoting the use of solar energy. Chile leads in the region investments in solar energy, where they have been implementing a large number of photovoltaic installations for the generation of electricity, which in its entirety correspond to almost three-quarters of the total implementation of the solar energy in Latin America. The speed with which Chile has managed to expand its solar capacity has been very significant, observing sustainable growth. On the other hand, in Bolivia, the use of renewable energies has also been promoted, in September 2018 a solar plant of 60 megawatts of capacity was inaugurated.
Similarly, it occurs in Mexico where within the next 3 years, 65 new power generation plants based on renewable energy will be built. These plants will be both solar and wind, making an estimated investment of 8600 million dollars. Apart from Costa Rica, in the Central America zone, countries like Honduras, or El Salvador, have begun to promote the use of renewable energies through the exploration and assignment of credits to small and medium enterprises that are venturing into this area, mainly for the purpose of expanding the use of solar energy.
Without a doubt, it is evident that in Latin America, renewable energies are beginning to set a course towards a new era of clean energy use as the main sources of energy generation. Observing that there is a clear general interest from the organizations and governments of different countries of the region to put all their efforts and cooperation for its implementation and expansion.
The balance is positive, and the success stories in Latin America demonstrate it. Although there are countries that have taken the initiative in the exploration and implementation of new facilities based on renewable energy, there are also countries that see renewable energies as a challenge and a look towards a future full of opportunities, where of course, they begin to put all their efforts into the incursion of these new forms of energy generation in their different regions.
Without a doubt, it is evident that in Latin America, renewable Apart from the advantages of renewable energies in terms of environmental impact, their contribution to the economy of each of the countries of the region can be very significant. Since they generate new job opportunities, new investments, and the option for many small growing companies to join this expanding market.
There are many benefits when implementing the use of renewable energies, such as; Final prices for consumers could be reduced, increasing competition and improving quality service, in addition to reducing operating costs, because in many parts of Latin America the generation of energy depends on the importation of fuels such as oil, which in many cases is high.
In Latin America, the demand for electric power increases very rapidly, the expansion of large industries and consumers play a fundamental role in this change. Some projections indicate that by 2030 the demand for electric power in the region will increase by about 70%. This represents a challenge for the different countries that are beginning to see in renewable energies the solution and the way to satisfy in the future the great demands of energy, moving away little by little from the dependence of fossil fuels as main sources of energy generation.
Important challenges are ahead in the implementation of renewable energies in Latin America. Being fundamental on behalf of the countries, the promotion of new foreign investments that allow expanding the facilities and infrastructure of electricity generation with clean energies. But for this to happen, it is necessary that the corresponding regulatory guarantees exist, so that the regulatory
framework in each country should be strengthened by developing the appropriate norms and instruments that allow the efficient inclusion of this type of energy in the market.
It is convenient the cooperation of different governmental and private organisms that allow a healthy growth of the sector, and make possible the unification of regional norms between the countries in the future. If we continue to advance and take on these new challenges in an appropriate manner, the result will benefit Latin America and the planet.