World Bank and IDB Co-Organize Energy Efficiency and Access Forum for Latin America
29 September 2010: An Energy Efficiency and Access Forum, which was jointly organized by the Mexican Government, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, highlighted that Latin America's power generating capacity may need to double over the next 20 years to meet the growing demand for electricity.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati, World Bank Managing Director, underlined that simply building more infrastructure, in particular new thermal and other power plants, to meet this growing demand "is both unwise and unsustainable." Noting that investments of such magnitude in new capacity are not easily affordable by any regional economy, she argued for using more efficiently the existing energy infrastructure. Energy efficiency would also reduce reliance on greenhouse gas (GHG) producing fuels and support countries' efforts in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
At the Forum, experts noted potential for total financial savings, or avoided energy cost, of global energy efficiency could rise to US$250-US$325 billion annually by 2030. Efforts are already underway in the Latin American region, including loss reduction and light bulb exchange initiatives, such as Brazil's Eletrobras Distribution Rehabilitation Project (US$495 million), Mexico's Lighting and Appliances Efficiency Project (US$350 million), and Uruguay's Energy Efficiency Project (US$7 million) where school children encourage their parents to refrain from wasting energy. [World Bank Press Release]