A race for renewable energy has begun. Over the next seven years, demands for renewable energy will heighten as the world strives to halve emissions by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement. This conference, held by Canning House, will explore how the United Kingdom and Latin America may join forces to scale up renewable energy production, specifically through wind and hydrogen.
Latin America: Powering Net Zero
A race for renewable energy has begun. The war in Ukraine has accelerated investment in renewables, as countries seek to protect their energy security. Over the next seven years, demands for renewable energy will heighten as the world strives to halve emissions by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement. Renewables- such as wind, hydropower, solar, and hydrogen- will fuel this global green industrial revolution.
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are poised to become protagonists in renewable energy production. The region is rich in natural resources alongside the critical minerals needed to build solar panels and wind turbines. Many Latin American countries have set the precedent with ambitious climate targets and policy frameworks. Two out of the three carbon negative countries worldwide are Latin American (Panama and Suriname). Costa Rica generates over 98% of its energy from renewable sources and is striving to reach 100% by 2030. Moreover, Brazil’s presidency of the COP30 in 2025 offers an unprecedented opportunity for Latin America to steer the world towards Net Zero.
This conference, held by Canning House, will explore how the United Kingdom and Latin America may join forces to scale up renewable energy production, specifically through wind and hydrogen.
including our agenda, speaker biographies and further information
Latin America: Powering Net Zero
Guest arrival and registration
Jeremy Browne, CEO - Canning House
Decarbonising the UK and Latin America
with Lord Callanan
Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance
in conversation with Jeremy Browne, CEO, Canning House
From land to sea: accelerating LAC’s wind power
This panel seeks to explore how Latin America and the Caribbean’s onshore and offshore wind capacity may be optimised. Key questions to be explored include: how may policies and regulations be shaped to attract investment in the region’s wind sector (especially offshore)? What are the potential applications of wind power for decarbonising the region’s major industries, such as mining? What needs to be done to ensure a stable supply chain of critical minerals needed to manufacture wind power technology? What possibilities exist for the UK and Latin America to join forces in scaling up wind production?
Moderator: Miguel Valderrama, Future Energy Leaders Programme - World Energy Council
Alan Thomson, Director, Global Energy Business Leader - Arup
Héctor Muñoz, Executive Director Structure Finance Energy Europe and Andean Region - Santander
Preyavart Gadhavi, Director, Energy Infrastructure - Actis
Adriana Vargas Colwill, Senior Consultant and LatAm Advisor - The Offshore Wind Consultants (OWC)
Catalysing LAC’s Hydrogen Industry
This second panel will contemplate the benefits, opportunities, and challenges for the development of LAC’s hydrogen sector between now and 2050. Key questions to be explored include: how do national hydrogen strategies compare between LAC countries and with the UK? How may regulatory frameworks and policies be geared towards incentivising investment? What different approaches exist for transitioning towards green hydrogen and what are their benefits and drawbacks? What is needed to make LAC’s green hydrogen competitive? How may LAC’s smaller economies overcome hurdles such as that of generating internal demand to kickstart their hydrogen industries? What future opportunities exist for LAC’s major industries such as agriculture and mining to use hydrogen? By when and under what conditions may Latin America and the Caribbean become a global hydrogen exporter?
Moderator: Eman Martin-Vignerte, Director, External Affairs and Government Relations - Bosch UK
Olivier Mussat, CEO - ATOME
Helio Bustamante, Programme Manager - ITM Power
Peter Durante, Executive Director - Cogitare Advisors
Adrian del Maestro, VP Global Energy Advisory - AECOM
Jeremy Browne, CEO - Canning House
LAC’s renewable energy potential remains largely unexplored. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) estimates that the region has only unlocked around 30% of its hydroelectric capacity, despite that it already provides almost half of the region’s electricity. Furthermore, Latin America holds the potential to increase its utility-scale solar and wind capacity by over 460% by 2030 if all 319 GW of the region’s prospective projects are fulfilled, according to US-based NGO Global Energy Monitor. Leveraging LAC’s renewable potential demands significant investments to develop the region’s technology, infrastructure, and human capital. In fact, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that LAC requires annual investments of US$118 billion to meet the Paris Agreement’s objectives. The UK stands as a strategic ally. London- as a world-leading green finance centre- can mobilise the capital needed to scale up Latin America’s renewable production. The UK can also offer cutting-edge technical expertise notably in offshore wind, as the world’s second largest market preceded only by China.
From the vast terrain of Patagonia to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, Latin America holds boundless opportunities for generating wind power. Thus far, Brazil has been the frontrunner, with a record 4GW of onshore wind installations in 2022, representing 6% of the global total. Investors and policy makers worldwide are now turning towards offshore energy. The global offshore market is expected to grow from 8.8GW in 2022 to 25.5GW in 2027, increasing its share of total new installations from 11% to 23% during this same period. The World Bank predicts that Latin America’s vast coastline could produce up to 8,000GW of offshore wind energy, led by Argentina with 1,870GW and Brazil with 1,228GW. However, the potential of smaller countries cannot be overlooked, an example of which is Uruguay with a 275GW total offshore wind potential.
Several Latin American countries are designing policies to attract private investment in developing offshore wind projects. Brazil’s 2050 National Energy Plan pledges to increase the country’s total wind capacity by 722% to reach 194GW by 2050. In December, the Brazilian government announced 71 applications for offshore wind licences and the Brazilian Parliament is currently crafting a universal regulatory framework for offshore wind power. Following suit, Colombia is expected to hold its first offshore wind auction in the latter part of 2023, offering competitive permits for the exploration of up to six offshore wind development projects. Two pilot projects are already gaining traction: the city of Barranquilla has signed a memorandum of understanding for an offshore wind farm and the Vientos Alisios wind project has secured pre-feasibility status and grid connection. Moreover, in February 2023, Costa Rica’s Electricity Institute began investigations into how offshore wind may be integrated into the country’s extensive renewable matrix. Increased wind production, however, is hinged on reliable supply chains of critical minerals. The World Bank estimates a 250% rise in demand for key minerals used in wind turbines- including copper and aluminium- if temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius. Home to 40% of global copper reserves alone, Latin America will play a crucial role in meeting such demands.
Over the next decade, offshore wind power will become increasingly fundamental for powering green hydrogen production. Low-carbon hydrogen is an essential component of a global net-zero emissions future. However, currently under 0.4% of hydrogen used in Latin America is green; the rest is derived from fossil fuels. The abundance of renewable energy in LAC puts the region at a strategic advantage for producing competitive low-carbon hydrogen for domestic uses and, eventually, exports. The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) 2022 report even predicts that green hydrogen (produced with renewable energy) could compete with blue hydrogen (produced using carbon capture) in Brazil as early as 2030.
Several Latin American countries have recently released hydrogen strategies to get ahead of the game. Colombia published the National Hydrogen Strategy Roadmap in 2021 supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Kingdom Sustainable Infrastructure Programme (UKSIP). The Mexican Senate is currently working with industry to establish a common framework for the country’s hydrogen value chain. In June, the Chilean government announced a US$1 billion fund for developing the country’s green hydrogen industry supported by the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the German Development Bank, and the European Union. The fund aims to attract US$12.5 billion in private investment and position Chile as a global exporter of green hydrogen. In July, Ecuador announced its roadmap for green hydrogen development supported by the Inter-American Development Bank. Meanwhile, Panama released its National Hydrogen Strategy (ENHIVE), aiming to position the Central American country as the global route for green hydrogen.
Beyond exports, green hydrogen offers a fundamental application for decarbonising major industries in LAC which are unsuited to direct electrification such as mining, heavy industry, and long-distance shipping and road transportation. Some pioneering industry projects are already gaining traction on the ground. In April, global mining company Anglo-American announced a collaborative study to explore opportunities for the development of a Green Hydrogen Valley or Hub (H2V) in central Chile. In February, British green hydrogen and ammonia developer, Atome Energy established a National Ammonia Corporation (NAC) in Costa Rica through a joint venture supported by one of the country’s largest corporations. The project aims to use green hydrogen to produce climate-friendly fertilisers for agriculture: one of LAC’s economic powerhouses. The British company also has a project under development in Paraguay to establish a 420MW green hydrogen and ammonia plant. Mexican multinational CEMEX is innovating the application of hydrogen technology in the building materials industry as well as the future development of green hydrogen. Since 2021, all of CEMEX’s European plants have been hydrogen powered and the company has begun expanding its hydrogen applications worldwide, including in the Dominican Republic. This conference aims to explore how such ideas may be expanded to transform LAC into a powerhouse for a global net-zero future.
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