Possibilities for Advancing Energy Transition in Latin America at Regional Scale(s)

11 June 2024
Research Seminar

Tuesday, 11 June 2024
11.00 - 12.00


As any other region in the world, Latin America possesses huge potential for producing renewable energy based on wind and sun, but particularly also on water, as thanks to hydropower the region stands indeed as the leading one regarding renewable energy, for it accounted for 61% of its energy matrix by 2020 (being 30% the world’s average). Yet, what crucially characterizes Latin America’s potential for energy transition are not precisely its possibilities for utilizing those forces of nature, but rather its regional cooperation and integration schemes that should help Latin American countries to work together, as a type of regional institutional force.

To be sure, Latin America counts at present with at least six regional schemes that have the potential to offer normative frameworks, and to develop technical advances, infrastructure projects and financial tools that could help Latin American countries profiting their natural advantages and reducing costs in order to bring energy transition forward. The Andean Community (AC), the Mercosur, the Central American System of Integration (CASI), the Pacific Alliance (AP), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the Latin American Community of States (LACS) stand as regional integration projects (former three) and regional cooperation schemes (latter three) with an institutional structure that allows adopting collective goals and strategies regarding energy transition, and even all of them can show collective concern and sometimes action over energy production and security, as well as over environmental issues. 

The present paper thus aims to assess the possibilities that Latin American countries have for bringing forward efforts related to energy transition together on a regional or subregional scale. It will be argued that despite none of the existing regional projects currently develops efforts on energy transition, all of them –surely on different scale and scope– have the potential to provide effective frameworks for member countries to collectively advance on the matter, as they may offer the possibility of reducing costs and profiting technical and natural resources in more efficient fashion.


Germán Camilo Prieto is a Visiting Research Fellow at UNU-CRIS and an Associate Professor at Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.