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On Thursday 7th June, Canning House, in association with Eversheds Sutherland, had the pleasure of hosting our annual conference on renewable energy, focusing on The clean energy sector in Latin America: trends and opportunities. CAF Development Bank of Latin America kindly sponsored the event, which took place in Eversheds Sutherland's auditorium.
The morning began with Cristina Cortes, CEO of Canning House, and Michelle T. Davies, International Head of the Clean Energy and Sustainability Group at Eversheds Sutherland, welcoming attendees and speakers to the event. It is the second time that Canning House and Eversheds Sutherland have partnered on such an event.
Gonzalo de Castro, Senior Executive at CAF Development Bank of Latin America, then delivered a keynote, giving a comprehensive overview of the region and highlighting the obstacles and opportunities that its clean energy sector presents.
The first panel discussion then focused on revenue streams for clean energy assets in Latin America. Juan Francisco Mackenna, Partner at Carey, spoke from a Chilean perspective; alongside him were Nelson Mojarro, the Mexican Secretariat of Energy Representative to the EU; and Maya Rao, Strategy Director Emerging Markets at Voltalia, a renewable energy producer and service provider. Stephen Hill, Clean Energy Partner at Eversheds Sutherland, chaired the discussion, which covered, amongst other things, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the trend towards shorter-term, more flexible PPAs.
The second panel discussion centred around the access to international finance for clean energy projects in Latin America. Javier Huergo, Chief Investment Officer at Fotowatio Venture Renewables, and Rodrigo Marquez, General Counsel at Faro Energy, compared their experiences in a number of Latin American markets, particularly in relation to solar energy. Alison Gowman, Deputy Chair of the Green Finance Initiative and Alderman of the City of London, spoke of the opportunities green finance offers for collaboration between the UK and Latin American countries, while Gonzalo de Castro of CAF discussed the role of development banks versus that of commercial banks. Mark Dennison, Eversheds Sutherland Project Finance Partner, chaired this panel.
The closing presentations saw the spotlight turn to Brazil, with Professor Kathryn Hochstetler of LSE presenting the policy frameworks in place in the country as part of its move beyond big hydro. Germán Espejo, Deputy Head of Mission at the Colombian Embassy in the UK then focused on Colombia, which emerged over the morning as the rising star in the Latin American clean energy sector, and which has recently passed new legislation on the matter. Cristina Cortes chaired, with many questions from the audience following these presentations.
Stephen Hill returned to the stage to close the event, thanking all speakers, participants and organisers, and concluding that the opportunities in the Latin American clean energy market easily outweighed the obstacles.
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