RD&D for Renewable Energy Technologies: Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean
RD&D for Renewable Energy Technologies: Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean finds wide opportunities to coordinate innovation activities and efforts. Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) co-invention and cooperative research can help bridge gaps in renewable energy technologies (RET) innovation and diminish the regions energy challenges. The findings of this report show that the main gaps in cooperative Research, Development & Deployment (RD&D) for RET relate to human and financial capacities, knowledge development and diffusion, the promotion of entrepreneurial activities, and market formation for new technologies. In addition, the strategic focus of existing efforts on RD&D hinders RET innovation in some LAC countries.
This report presents an overview of recommendations and suggestions for practical actions to strengthen cooperative RD&D for RET. The main recommendations cover:
- A proposed governance structure to interconnect all innovation-related fields and align technical expertise, stakeholders and national plans;
- Coordinated jurisdictions to streamline political objectives of provincial and local governments;
- Cooperative aid actors, bringing social needs for innovative technological solutions to the attention of policy makers and investors, and promoting social assimilation of pilot projects, prototypes and adapted technology in communities;
- Exchange of information among researchers, policy makers and main market actors in the region.
The report prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) contains a selection of on-going innovation initiatives and the numerous intergovernmental organisations, governmental offices, private enterprises, non-governmental organisations and academia, taking part in them. The accompanying analysis indicates that international and inter-sectorial cooperation are central to the proliferation of breakthroughs in the region. The development of short-term forecast tools for wind generation, hydrokinetic turbines to be used with marine currents, smart mini-grids for electrification of isolated and rural communities or biofuel production from microalgae, are a few examples of spearheading research conducted in the region.