While eyes in the U.S. Adminstration are looking up North on the slope and off shore when it comes to future energy production, some eyes are looking south. Mexico used to be known as a strong oil producer. But down further past the equator Venezuela pretty much took up the stage with OPEC production- even Alaskan’s remote villages know well of Venezuela from oil checks they had received about a decade ago from Citgo Corp. With oil prices dropping and Venezuela in a social/economic tailspin, it may seem to the average American that South American is pretty much a third world continent with sporatic production and power distribution.
Yet there are a number of movements toward incorporating renewable elements. Obviously with the northern part of South America have the consistency of even days and nights through the year in terms of solar exposure, figuring out how to put that radiation to use is a priority. With much of the continent having coastal line, tidal is another obvious energy source- yet harnessing it and storage area a site specific often.
Starting with the largest of nations, Brazil, there are political problems that stymie optimal production, and with the size of their rural landscape it is a challenge in distributing the energy they area able to generate. Looking over to the west coast, Columbia seems to have a somewhat political stable situation (in comparison of years past). With the ability to install renewable panels and turbines without worrying about vandalism from rebels and pockets of druglords, this country is known as the ‘sleeping giant’ of renewables. Needless to say, with more order there are bound to be more financiers willing to even look at project potentials….
Chile has a good growth factor in solar, and their focus on storage and transmission will be no doubt a community development lens for the next generation. With the mountainous area on the west side of the continent, the countries there are investing in figuring out distribution of energy generated. This would include Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Certainly in the southern part of the continent political stability has been more helpful toward rural energy being supplied through several climes. Keep an eye in the future on the ‘other side’ of the equator.