10 years ago GENI was invited
to the Latin American Energy Ministerial Summit hosted by the U.S. Department
of Energy. Then U.S. Secretary Bill Richardson was seeking ways for American
firms to help develop clean energy projects across the western hemisphere.
Prior to this Summit, we contacted every Latin American Energy Minister to encourage them to
interconnect energy grids for multiple shared benefits.
Hurricane Mitch had just torn
across Central America, ripping down power grids, communication lines and transportation
In a show of cooperative
support, the World Bank and U.S. DOE offered to help rebuild the electric grids
of Central America – only if they worked together as an integrated network.
Today, this international
grid is being tested and will finally be fully energized next year. SIEPAC (the Central American Electrical
Interconnection System) will become a model of cooperation for other world
regions. In addition, the six nations can now take advantage of the
abundant solar, geothermal and hydropower potential across the region –
reducing the demand for imported oil and power generation costs by 20%. This
is a win-win-win deal: more energy availability, at less cost with reduced
we have been driving this strategy for 25 years and are now working both to
speed up and scale up the development on all continents. Our world may seem in
turmoil, yet committed people everywhere are making a real difference. These
projects take a long time from concept to completion – but your voice and
support can accelerate this cooperative development between every nation. The
next step is to link the SIEPAC network north into Mexico and south into Columbia.
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