Experts analyse the challenges and opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean in the field of Energy Efficiency

The virtual event was held in the context of the commemoration of World Energy Efficiency Day at the initiative of the EUROCLIMA+ Energy Efficiency sector projects.

San José, Costa Rica. March 5, 2021. Experts from Argentina, Chile and Colombia met to analyse and share experiences and exchange knowledge regarding the challenges and opportunities faced by countries in the Latin American region when implementing energy efficiency solutions in their territories.

The panel discussion started by analysing regulatory frameworks and legislation on the topic. Mr. Sebastián Jure, Deputy Director of the Energy Sustainability Agency of Chile (AgenciaSE) shared with the audience information about the main gaps that motivated the creation of the Energy Efficiency Law in Chile, as well as the main advances of this country in this matter until today.

"Energy efficiency is expected to reduce emissions by around 35%, and from this point of view, the law focuses on the three main areas of consumption that we have at the national level, which are land transport, large consumers and the public, construction and commercial sectors. In addition to this, with the institutional framework of the Law and this plan to be developed, we hope to have reductions of 10% in current energy consumption versus what we consumed in 2019, with savings of around 15 billion dollars and reductions of 28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide," said Sebastián Jure.

For his part, Hélmer Acevedo, SETEC's Technical Advisor on Energy Efficiency, commented on Colombian energy efficiency regulations in comparison with the region.

Both panellists highlighted the lack of regulation and information on technological alternatives, cultural and training gaps, as well as investment costs and access to credit as some of the most important challenges.

Regarding the challenges and opportunities in the Latin American region, Alfonso Blanco, Executive Secretary of OLADE, presented the main findings identified in the energy efficiency laws in Latin America and the Caribbean and spoke about the need for a paradigm shift in the work approach at the regional level: the need to act on energy demand and not on supply.

As fo opportunities, one particularity that attracted attention is that in Latin American countries, unlike more developed economies, work on energy efficiency is not only focused on savings, but also on inclusion, promoting access to energy for the most vulnerable populations.

"Energy efficiency has the real capacity to have an effective impact on global energy demand, and even more so when global economic realignments are taking place. Many emerging economies have joined the demand scenario," Blanco said.

Successful experiences that make a difference

At the end of this virtual discussion and with the aim of continuing to build a coordinated work, some lessons learned and experience exchanges were shared from the implementation of the projects "Fideicomiso Red Argentina de Municipios frente al Cambio Climático (RAMCC)" in Argentina and the "Red INCOMBUSTIÓN" in Colombia.

The RAMCC started 10 years ago with two municipalities and currently groups 225 municipalities with a total population of more than 12 million inhabitants. As part of the efforts made to achieve carbon neutrality, these municipalities have set an energy efficiency focus within their work plans and a year ago created a trust fund for the collective purchase of LED lighting for 9 municipalities in the network. Each municipality has contributed 10 million Argentinean pesos to the fund and they have already tendered two batches of lights for their localities.

In the case of Colombia, the INCOMBUSTIÓN Network was presented, a knowledge network that develops a collaborative agenda of innovation in new combustion systems and energy efficiency. The network is made up of research groups from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia Medellín, the Universidad de Antioquia, the Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano and the Universidad del Valle.

Thanks to the work developed by this multidisciplinary team, it was possible to identify the energy profile of part of Colombia’s industry, as well as the most used energy sources and their level of intensity in heat or electricity, in order to have a first approach for identifying opportunities for energy efficiency, specific consumption and polluting emissions.

The project also sought to reduce the technological gap with respect to the international state of the art, as well as to strengthen national capacities for the development, transfer and/or adaptation of modern and clean combustion technologies.

To learn more about the presentations and topics covered during the Webinar, we invite you to review the full video available at the following link: click hereí

About the Efficient Energy sector

The objective of this sector is to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation through the implementation of energy efficiency measures, in accordance with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) assumed by countries under the Paris Agreement.

The actions financed under this sector aim to support countries in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the energy sector. Projects are aimed at identifying and financing initiatives that help strengthen capacities, institutions, public policy regulatory frameworks and monitoring systems that promote energy efficiency.


EUROCLIMA+  is a programme funded by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), the Internacional and Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and UN Environment.