A workshop on solar energy was held today at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) with the aim of promoting a rapprochement between public and private actors of the region in the field of solar energy, fostering the development of the industry, generating synergies and promoting networks of cooperation.
The inauguration of the workshop was conducted by Mario Castillo, chief of the Unit for innovation and new technologies of ECLAC, Juergen Klenk, senior advisor of the ECLAC-BMZ/giz programme, Claudio Maggi, Director of competitive development of Chile’s economic development agency (CORFO) and Manlio Coviello, chief of the Unit of natural resources and energy of ECLAC.
"To talk about the solar industry is talking about one of the most relevant topics of technological innovation, crucial to achieve a transition to a low-carbon energy matrix in our region. The way in which countries face this transition, with relevant and systemic public policies that increase the participation of this kind of energy and reduce its costs, is essential. This workshop is conducted following ECLAC’s line of work on the need of creating new technological and productive agendas for a sustainable development", Castillo said in his opening remarks.
Jürgen Klenk gave an overview of Germany, where renewable energies represent one of the most important and innovative sectors, with strong public investment and a high capacity that has allowed reducing the costs of electricity production and generating new jobs. "In Latin America and the Caribbean, the intervention of the State in the design of public policies to promote renewable energies is a challenge," he said, "so German Cooperation, through its programmes in the region, help countries so they can create conditions for these new energies".
The representative of CORFO stated that the workshop was being held at a very opportune moment for Chile, which among its smart specialization programs has one in solar energy, currently in its implementation phase and funded by various public entities. Maggi explained that "these energies make feasible economic activities that have lagged because of high energy costs in recent years. It is an issue with many aspects to be considered –research and development, development of technological capabilities and labor skills, public and territorial management– which require the coordination of public and private sectors, the academia and the community stakeholders".
Finally, Manlio Coviello gave an overview of the work made by ECLAC on renewable energies –some in conjunction with the German Cooperation – GIZ and CORFO–which can be found in this link.
During the day, there was a panel focused on the main technological centers in solar energy in the region, a discussion and analysis of the challenges of integration and delivery of solar energy and the presentation of success cases of solar providers in the region.
The event was organized by ECLAC and the German cooperation – GIZ in the framework of the project Innovations for a sustainable structural change; it also had the support of CORFO, through the agreement with ECLAC to the design and implementing the strategic programs of smart specialization for competitiveness.