MAY 2019

Dear colleagues from the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, it is a pleasure for me to transmit the progress we have made in regional energy integration, particularly in the second Roundtable for Energy Integration Dialogue in the Southern Cone, held on April 9, in the city of Asunción, Paraguay. In this space promoted by the IDB with the support of OLADE and CIER, we participated in a rich dialogue with authorities and representatives of entities related to the energy sector in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. This second meeting is the continuity of the first Dialogue Table that was established within the framework of the Energy Week in December 2018 in Montevideo, Uruguay. 

We highlight the presence of Paraguayan authorities, especially the presence of the Minister of Public Works and Communications (MOPC) of Paraguay, Arnoldo Wiens, and the Vice Minister of Energy Carlos Zaldivar, who highlighted the strategic importance of regional energy integration aimed at creating dynamic electricity markets between the countries of the southern cone.

In the development of this space, the representatives of the five countries agreed on the need to promote this dialogue table to advance towards a greater use of the existing regional infrastructure and taking advantage of the opportunities and benefits that arise from the increase in energy exchanges between the countries of the Southern Cone but fundamentally respecting the priorities of each country. To give a clear example, of elements that emerged from the rich exchange maintained, it is demonstrable that a good part of the existing infrastructure for energy exchange between countries in the region, has a use of less than five percent of its capacity, this reflects a clear opportunity to generate cost efficient energy exchanges between countries that take advantage of this underutilized capacity. 

In this context, the multiple benefits and opportunities offered by energy integration, support in emergency situations, optimization of subsystems from coordinated dispatches, the efficient use of available reserves, the possibility of exchanging services between subsystems such as, frequency regulation, taking advantage of the time difference between countries to take advantage of the existing shift between demand peaks, the use of a country’s electrical transmission network as a step for energy transactions between third countries; were some of the topics covered. In this dialogue it was also present that integration not only refers to energy exchanges but also allows the exchange of knowledge, innovation and the training of technical capacities.

The importance of building an integrated vision of the sector, developing coordinated regional planning with the aim of creating dynamic markets that transcend bilateral exchanges, is a necessity in an energy context that in the future will be motivated by the inclusion of new technologies such as networks smart, electric mobility, storage and greater penetration of distributed generation. That is why the business model gradually changes and integration is a clear space to achieve more efficient systems that translate into better service and lower costs for our population. One aspect that cannot be ignored is that integration is forged within the framework of a relationship of trust between the parties involved, and that is why it is necessary to work deeply on this aspect.

As I have mentioned on previous occasions; it is for a genuine role of OLADE to generate, support and accompany these regional integration platforms, identifying the existing barriers and reducing the gaps between our Member Countries. It is also OLADE’s role to stimulate and promote regional exchange to achieve greater and better integration, bringing together and sharing the capacities available in many of our countries, identifying integration opportunities and promoting innovation as a key element to generate new economic activities associated to the sector with greater added value.

Receive a greeting and have the certainty that from OLADE we will continue to support and encourage the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Alfonso Blanco

Executive Secretary of OLADE 

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