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Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean

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A world of competing energies

Predicting the exact shape of the energy transition in Latin America is difficult, as so many factors of uncertainty are involved. For the big fossil fuel reliant countries in particular it is hard to pinpoint a ‘peak oil’ moment after which returns on investment in hydrocarbons may begin to become less attractive. What can be said with more certainty, however, is that the world, including Latin America and the Caribbean, has now entered a possibly unique period marked by the co-existence of multiple energy sources. For the next two to three decades, the period running between 2020 and 2050, the energy matrix is going to shift, but in ways that are not yet fully known. This creates both opportunities and risks. The opportunities include the chance to achieve a lower cost, cleaner, energy matrix and to avert the most harmful aspects of climate change. The risks include opting for unproven technologies which fail to deliver hoped-for benefits, as well as the conservative option of remaining locked into a fossil-fuel heavy mix of energy sources which will ultimately trigger financial losses and global warming effects.