The Latin American Energy Organization (Olade), through its Executive Secretary, Alfonso Blanco, participated in the webinar Successful experiences of energy cities in Latin America, organized by La Red Latinoamericana.
During this space, the executive secretary shared some key concepts: “In energy policy, the way to reach people is through local governments and communities, through building those networks to reach them with a clear message about the long-term vision. It is essential to act on the demand side to change most of the energy consumption and use habits.”
Regarding energy access, he mentioned that “access to modern energy sources is a right and actions in terms of bridging the gap and reaching the last mile in terms of universal access are linked at the community level.”
He also reported that there are currently 18 million people who do not have access to this key element for improving education and health conditions.
“Our region has connected more than 40 million people to modern energy sources in less than 20 years. It is a great achievement and experience gained by the communities.”
Lised Chávez, representing the Ministry of Energy of Colombia, said: “The recommendation is characterization. When the challenges and potential for energy savings are understood, projects can be identified. One relevant issue is to identify sources of funding. The value of the initial investment is one of the most important concerns. There is a lot of research to be done. What we have been able to understand is that, although the initial value is high, the benefits in the medium and long term will pay off.”
On Chile’s side, Jocelyn Ávila Higuera said that we must try to find allies to move forward. “We are all called to action. There are many of us who want to do something to improve reality. One must look for those that have objectives that are in line with each other. There’s a world out there. If resources are limited, you have to move to leverage from another point of view.”
Verónica Machado, mayor of Solís de Mataojo-Uruguay, also present at the webinar, said: “We all have the same commitment. We cannot lower our arms believing that we belong to a small municipality and that we are not going to influence the change.” In this way she stressed that it is in each of us to have a resilient city.
“The relevance in energy consumption and climate change is in each and every one of us, no matter how small. We are not going to escape the consequences of climate change so we must all do our part.” Said the Mayor of Solís de Mataojo-Uruguay.
Latin American Network of Energy Cities
The Latin American Network of Energy Cities aims to exchange technical knowledge, experiences, best practices, data and support in the establishment of programs that promote the sustainable energy development of cities.
The Latin American Network of Energy Cities is financed by the REPIC fund of the Swiss government and implemented by the Energy Sustainability Agency of Chile, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Uruguay, the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Colombia, the Mining and Energy Planning Unit of Colombia, Brandes Energie of Switzerland and the support of the Latin American Energy Organization.