Clean, renewable energy and how it can be tapped and produced in Latin America and the Caribbean has been a focus of the Rio+ 20 Earth Summit, taking place this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
According to a report presented at the summit by the Inter-American Development Bank, called Climatescope, there are “massive opportunities” in this area for clean energy manufacturers and producers. However, more investment is needed, as are the development of appropriate green policy frameworks by national governments.
“Latin America and the Caribbean boast extraordinary renewable energy resources and much of the region has seen strong economic growth in recent years. Still, the local clean energy sector is just beginning to gain traction, last year attracting less than 5 percent of an estimated $280 billion invested worldwide,” said the bank in a press release.
“For clean energy entrepreneurs, developers, and manufacturers, massive opportunities appear to lie ahead — if they can identify them. Similarly, government leaders could trigger a flood of new clean energy investment — if they can craft appropriate policy frameworks,” it added.
According to another report published earlier this year by Pike Research, the mining industry will spend approximately $8.5 billion a year on renewable energy and energy conservation by 2016 and nearly $20 billion by 2020. However, if the global economy expands more rapidly and policy mandates pertaining to climate change are more robust, spending could reach $15.6 billion by 2016 and $30 billion annually by 2020.
Climatescope adds that of all Latin American countries, Brazil has attracted the most investment in clean energy initiatives. From 2006 to 2011, it received close to 80% of the cumulative $90 billion invested in the region's renewable energy sector during those five years.
The report also ranks Brazil as top of 26 nations assessed based on their green policies, clean energy investments, low-carbon business, and greenhouse gas management activities. It was closely followed by Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Chile, while Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay made up the rest of the top 10.
(Image of Rio de Janeiro from Wikipedia)
With the contribution of Suzanne Soto, owner of Si! Corporate Communications, a Greater Toronto Area company providing public relations services in both English and Spanish.