Few regions are richer in renewable potential than the Andean nations. They contain large areas of desert and drylands, which provide an unlimited source of solar energy. Southern Chile has quite simply the best onshore wind resource in the world. And in the rainy areas water cascades down the slopes of the Andes. In the region, our work focuses on Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
By bringing Latin American Members of Parliament together with their colleagues from other regions who share an interest in renewable energy, we can help to encourage them to take stronger leadership in their own parliaments. We can help them to develop initiatives in their national parliaments. And, as in Asia and elsewhere, we can encourage them to consider linking their national grids wherever this would help to create a cheaper and more reliable supply of clean energy.
Like some Asian countries, the Andean nations are in many areas heavily dependent on ice- melt for their year-round water supply. One question that is worth exploring is how renewable energy can contribute to adaptation strategies as the mountains warm and glaciers melt. For example, if mountain communities can build small dams without disrupting the ecology of streams, it can help water to sink down into underground aquifers which help to feed rivers through the dry season from mountain springs. It may be that solar panels can even be built over mountain streams to help make sure that they continue to freeze in winter, thus providing meltwater during more of the dry season.
Our work in Latin America is led by Dr Sergio Missana, a writer, journalist, editor and scholar based in Santiago, Chile. He served as Director of Publications and Head of International Relations at the BBVA Foundation in Madrid and as a member of the Governing Council of the European Foundation Centre (EFC), Brussels. He was the Director of International Projects at ESEO, a Chilean NGO working on capacity building in academic literacy in Africa, and has collaborated with the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), an NGO based in Nairobi. He was an editor of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report on human rights abuses committed by Chile’s military dictatorship between 1973 and 1990.
Sergio is the author of 13 books, including novels, essays, travel pieces and children’s books. He has published over 60 journalistic and academic articles. He holds a BA in Social Communications and a Professional Degree in Journalism from the University of Chile and an MA and PhD in Spanish Literature from Stanford University.