Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program, gave a presentation to the Energy Working Group of the Elcano Institute on clean energy auctions in Latin America and how their intelligent design could benefit other countries in the region.
2019 marks the first year since new leaders in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico took office. We can now see more clearly the way their policy decisions have affected the energy sector and opportunities for investment. Meanwhile, Argentina holds presidential elections later this month. Venezuela, in turn, faces a worsening economic crisis as oil production plummets. Industry experts, government officials, and corporate representatives convened to discuss these issues and their regional impacts on October 2 at the Inter-American Dialogue.
La directora del Programa de Energía, Cambio Climático e Industrias Extractivas, Lisa Viscidi, habló con CNN en Español sobre el cambio climático, sus impactos en América Latina y el nivel de compromiso de países en la región a esfuerzos internacionales para combatirlo.
Just as Pemex bonds suffered a downgrading to junk status by Fitch, Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy Program, sat down with Nathaniel Parish Flannery of Forbes to discuss the state of Mexico’s energy sector, including oil and gas, regulators, and renewables, seven months into the AMLO administration.
Regulators and private companies will continue to play important roles in the development of Mexico’s energy resources despite President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s focus on strengthening state-owned companies and enhancing “energy sovereignty” by reducing dependence on energy imports from the United States. This was the key message from speakers at “La nueva política energética de México,” an Inter-American Dialogue event in Mexico City.
In a wide-ranging panel about current events in energy, Lisa Viscidi commented on the shift in the US energy trade balance and its effects on foreign policy, Chinese financing for foreign energy projects, the importance of upgrading transmission lines for expanding renewable power generation, and how the Green New Deal attempts to reframe the discussion on climate change in the US.
Argentina’s economic crisis and the fiscal belt-tightening it demands have led to gradual cuts to wholesale electricity and natural gas subsidies for consumers and a liberalization of energy prices over the course of Mauricio Macri’s administration. This has helped make Argentina more attractive as a destination for energy investment despite its economic tumult, said Argentine Secretary of Energy Gustavo Lopetegui at an event organized by the Inter-American Dialogue on March 14.
AMLO’s skepticism of private investment, the cancellation of generation and transmission auctions, and the return to state-led electricity development through bolstering of the CFE threaten to squander Mexico’s renewable potential and drag its clean development efforts backwards.
Brazil should build on its impressive efforts in renewable energy, clean transport, and deforestation reduction. But as President Jair Bolsonaro assumes power, one of the world’s largest economies is on the verge of relinquishing its role as an environmental leader and retreating from the fight against climate change.
Electric mobility would bring a host of benefits to Latin America. Countries like Chile are taking the lead in adopting electric buses and promoting private use of electric vehicles. Yet hefty price tags and a lack of charging infrastructure are among the barriers that must be surmounted for widespread uptake in the region.
Mexico’s 2013 energy reform has led to pledges of almost $200 billion of private investment and renewable power auctions garnering bids to provide electricity at record-low prices. The Mexican government should continue to build on the successes of the reform, César Hernández, former Mexican undersecretary for electricity, and Jorge Castilla, managing director for Mexico at Accenture, said at an event hosted by the Inter-American Dialogue, the Embassy of Mexico, and the Energy Policy Research Foundation.
In an interview with Benjamin Gedan, director of the Wilson Center’s Argentina Project, Lisa Viscidi discusses the current conditions and outlook for three key components of the Argentine energy sector.
2018 has been a year marked by great political uncertainty for Latin American energy markets. Oil prices are up, creating strong incentives for investment, rising US natural gas exports are creating a new source of flexible, cheaper energy for Latin American consumers, and the cost of wind and solar energy is declining dramatically. However, Latin America continues to face uncertainty in energy policy as new governments take office in many countries and geopolitical tensions between the US and China are on the rise. With many questions on the table, government officials, corporate representatives, and analysts gathered on October 25 at the Inter-American Dialogue to assess the future of energy policy in the Western Hemisphere.
President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador can capitalize on Mexico’s enormous renewable energy potential and make Mexico a leader in the fight against climate change. Although his platform offers some promising proposals, he will have to maneuver through several major obstacles.
Improving grid management, expanding fiscal incentives for renewable technologies, and improving the land consultation process will open the door to the large Mexican renewable energy market.