Latin America Advisor

Energy Advisor

A Publication of The Dialogue

Can Latin America Digitize its Energy Sector Faster?

Digital technologies hold great promise for energy systems around the world. While many countries have embraced them, Latin America has lagged behind. // File Photo: U.S. Government.

With the right incentives, digital technologies are set to make energy systems around the world more connected, efficient, reliable and sustainable, playing a key role in transforming distributed energy resources into valuable grid assets, according to the International Energy Agency. However, energy systems’ digitalization is gradually emerging around the globe, with only “a modest penetration” in Latin America, the agency added. What resources are available to the region to finance the technology needed to integrate distributed energy systems? What market forces should be fostered to help the sector develop, and what is the role of governments? Which sorts of incentives would work, and which wouldn’t? What efficiency gains can the region expect to achieve this decade as a result of investments in distributed energy systems?

John deCraen, associate managing director at Kroll Cyber Risk Advisory Services: “Today, digitalization is transforming industry—and energy is no exception. However, while many developed countries have embraced digital technologies to improve efficiency and reduce costs, Latin America’s energy markets are lagging behind. One reason for this slow adaptation is a lack of investment. Many Latin American countries still rely on outdated technology, and many energy companies in the region are state-owned and may not have the resources or incentives to invest in digitalization. Also, there is a lack of skilled labor for digitalization with many Latin American countries not having the necessary work force to install, operate and maintain digital systems. Governments should…”

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A sister publication of the Inter-American Dialogue’s daily Latin America Advisor, the weekly Energy Advisor captures fresh analysis from business leaders and government officials on the most important developments in oil and gas, biofuels, the power sector, renewables, new technologies, and the policy debates shaping the future of energy in the Western Hemisphere and beyond. To subscribe or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at

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