Energy consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean

Energy consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Why you should be interested in reading a text with such a boring title? I really don’t have a definitive answer, perhaps you’re interested in the environment, perhaps you’re concerned about the fossil fuels consumption or finally you are interested in knowing the energy future of the region. The fact is that I want to present some statistics about energy consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), using the fantastic information provided by OLADE you can do some comparisons with the region average and between countries.

First, and to scare people, I begin presenting the data for the region for 2011, in the figure you’ll find the share of each energy source as % of the total consumption. I started indicating that you can be scare because the fossil fuels consumption ( petroleum and natural gas) share more than 63 % of the total, confirming that we are oil and gas addicted, particularly the massive public transport sector.

In the other hand, the following chart presents information for each of the country, where they are sorted according to the gasoline, diesel oil, and other derivatives consumption of. Thus we can see Ecuador as the country with the largest share of this type of energy sources in total consumption and on the other hand, Trinidad & Tobago with the lowest one. Bolivia is below average, due to the change in the last fifteen years from oil derivatives to natural gas.

I invite to the readers to find their own country and compare ir in the average and the rest. From my side, the only thing clear to me is the tremendous addiction to fossil fuels, situation that I don’t expect to change in the future. What factors cause this addiction? I think the subsidized prices, the nature of public policy (infrastructure that promotes their use), lower commercialization costs and large oil and gas reserves in the region, could explain this situation. If some transformation will happen in the future is the replacement of petroleum by natural gas… good news for producer countries and perhaps bad news for the noble friends who every day fight for a better environment, Santi will be forever grateful to them, his dad (me) maybe not so much.

Mauricio Medinaceli

Cochabamba, December 7th, 2013

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