Electricity

Electricity is an essential part of natural development of humankind, in industrial, commercial and residential terms. Electricity generation is basically obtained through other primary sources of energy in which there are two types:  Renewable and nonrenewable sources.  After this stage, the electricity produced is distributed through power transmission systems, which can be high or low voltage, to finally, in a third step, reach consumers through distribution networks.

Research topics arising from each of the above mentioned steps must be addressed by the different energy related agencies.

The current energy situation in Latin America and the Caribbean shows that total electricity consumption in the region increased from 489 TWh per year in 1990 to 1,073 TWh in 2010, representing an annual average growth rate of 4% .  The average electricity coverage in the region is 88.6%, ie approximately 66 million people do not have access to electricity.  Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica have electricity coverage over 99%, while countries like Haiti and Nicaragua have rates of 34% and 65% respectively (OLADE 2012) considering areas such as design, planning, regulation, operation, efficiency, marketing, environment, among others.

Brazil is the largest producer of electricity in the region, generating, during 2010, 516 TWh; followed by Mexico Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, among others.  On the other hand, Paraguay is the largest exporter of electricity reaching, in 2010, to 43.4 TWh exports to Brazil and Argentina who share two large hydroelectric plants such as Itaipu and Yacyreta respectively.  Meanwhile, Brazil is the largest net importer of the region with figures reaching 35.9 TWh in 2010; Argentina is the second largest importer with 10.3 TWh (OLADE 2012).