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How geothermal energy can be the key tp a renewable future in Latin America

Miravalles geothermal plant and solar plant (source: ciee.org)
Francisco Rojas 22 Apr 2016

The promise of geothermal development can be a blessing for Latin America to meet emissions and renewable energy targets needed to curb climate change.

A long and interesting article has been recently published by Power Struggle, where somewhat controversial views on the development of geothermal energy in the Americas is detailed.

The article begins by explaining the great geothermal potential in the region and how this renewable energy source can be one of the great allies to Latin America´s ambitions to having a clean its energy revolution and reach emissions targets.

“Geothermal energy is one of the best tools to help Mexico to meet their national targets for energy cleaning the country,” said Michelle Ramirez, Director of Mexico of geothermal energy in the Ministry of Energy, whose government has set a target to produce 35 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2024. “However, this is still a small industry and requires a lot of investment.”

The article goes further and exposes two different ways to develop geothermal energy in the regio by showcasing the efforts of Mexico and Costa Rica.

The Mexican experience is characterized by a past of government monopoly on geothermal resources and development. After years of almost no activity, the government has recently decided to offer the development of geothermal energy to private actors in the hope that this happens in a faster and more efficient way. The development by the CFE of the Cerro Prieto plant 40 years ago, done without environmental control and without social impact assessment has generated an intense discomfort in the local population and allegedly caused damages to the local area.

The article goes on to show how the development of geothermal energy has been done in Costa Rica, where it is carried by the state almost exclusively. Moreover, in Costa Rica, the development of the geothermal project of Miravalles has been well received by the local population and has brought benefits to all, not only for the environment.

We recommend reading the article since it shows two very different experiences regarding development in Latin America from which much can be learned.

Source: Power Struggle