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Document Abstract
Published: 2015

Accelerating energy efficiency: initiatives and opportunities

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Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries face an urgent need to advance economic develo p- ment and social welfare by enabling progress in priority areas such as health , education and infrastructure. If we add to these needs vulnerabilities in the energy sector, it is difficult to see an obvious path to the enhanced social and economic ambitions of LAC societies. Energy efficiency measures implemented in a strategic manner offer the opportunity to advance societal objectives by transforming the productivity and resilience of country energy systems.

Despite some success stories, such as the mass campaigns to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and the growing interest that governments have shown in promoting
energy efficiency in the last ten years, there remains a large untapped potential. Some LAC countries have introduced policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks, with a number of countries already having an Energy Efficiency Act or considering its adoption. However, the implementation of energy efficiency activities has generally been limited in the LAC region, often being prioritized as a response to crises or deficits in energy supply.

This report provides observations on energy efficiency efforts in several countries in the LAC region with the aim of informing and supporting the future development and acceleration of energy efficiency policies and programmes. The status of energy efficiency in 14 LAC countries was considered through highlighting barriers to increased uptake as well as examples of past, present and planned energy efficiency initiatives. This report highlights that there are many common barriers and opportunities
shared by LAC countries.

This report also establishes a set of criteria that could be used to identify the progress of countries on energy efficiency related to the following areas:

  • Institutional issues
  • Legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Financing resources and mechanisms
  • Scarcity of resources or funding
  • Sectors or uses of significant magnitude and specific weight
  • Milestones of structural changes in energy policy
  • Potential technological niche development
  • Replicating actions in other countries in the region
  • Degree of progress and local capacity
  • The lack of a favourable policy environment and an abundance of energy resources
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