The inaugural session of the V edition of the Energy Week was attended by the Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources of Ecuador, René Ortiz; the Executive Secretary of the Latin American Energy Organization (Olade), Alfonso Blanco Bonilla and the Head of the Energy Division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Ariel Yépez; who agreed that despite the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the energy sector has managed to face this situation of high uncertainty and has prevailed throughout this time of crisis, ensuring energy supply, maintaining quality levels of service to users and supporting government actions for the health system to face the crisis throughout the region.
Faced with this situation, the Executive Secretary of Olade, Alfonso Blanco, stated that “international oil prices went through negative values, also affecting the income of regional economies based on extractive industries. The economic situation of the countries of the region was conditioned by weakened fiscal positions and a drop in the growth rate prior to the pandemic. However, due to the pandemic, the region deepens this adverse situation and will enter a generalized recession that is unprecedented in recent history“.
Referring to the Energy Week and Olade’s role in this crisis, he said “to be convinced that instances of this style establish the necessary dialogue to face this profound crisis. We are contributing to build the responses, to strengthen our capacities and work, in a coordinated and collaborative way, on the weaknesses of our region. And it is the creation of a genuine dialogue, a crucial part of this contribution that we are building from Olade ”.
Among the activities to be carried out at the event, the Executive Secretary reported on the RELAC initiative, whose objective is to achieve 70% renewability in the energy matrix of Latin America and the Caribbean. This platform is made up of Olade, IDB and IRENA and brings together the will of 11 countries in the region.
For his part, the Head of the Energy Division of the Inter-American Development Bank, Ariel Yépez, referred to the V Energy Week as an opportunity to share reflections about the pandemic, the green agenda and technological change that helps to transform global energy management in an anticipated and sustained way.
“The reduction of GHGs has become one of the silver lining of the impacts brought by the pandemic. However, this result does not represent a long-term solution. To avoid a global environmental catastrophe, economic growth must be decoupled from emissions growth”, he stated.
He also mentioned that limitations and social distance requirements have disrupted the global supply chains on which renewable wind and solar projects depend.
As an opportunity, he mentioned taking advantage of the technological revolution in the electricity sector to support economic reactivation, create jobs and facilitate the transition to a world with sustainable energy. “Studies indicate that, on average, US$ 1 million in investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency creates more than 7 jobs, almost triple those created by investing in fossil fuels” he said.
To close the inaugural session of the V Energy Week, the Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources of Ecuador, René Ortiz, spoke, explaining that during the health crisis, Ecuador did not stop producing in the energy and mining sectors. He also reported that energy exports from Ecuador to Colombia are maintained, promoting energy integration between both countries and highlighting the opportunity to position the country as an energy exporter on a world scale.
Ecuador currently has 11 electric stations recently inaugurated and a commitment from the private sector to implement more stations.
Next, we share the link of our Panel III: Energy Efficiency to be held tomorrow November 18, which will be broadcasted live through the YouTube channel:
Wednesday 18 / Introductory Conference:
-Participation as main speakers:
Office of Energy Resources, US Department of State, Francis R. Fannon.
Executive Secretary of OLADE, Alfonso Blanco Bonilla
Panel V: Renewable Energies
Previous days broadcasts:
Panel III: Energy Efficiency
Panel IV: Energy Efficiency
and Institutional Relations