Caribbean countries are lagging compared with their Latin American neighbors in conditions favorable for investment in alternative energy, a new study shows.
The Climatescope, by the Multilateral Investment Fund, the investing arm of the Inter-American Development Bank, and the consulting firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which was presented at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro, examined 26 countries in the region and evaluated the conditions for investment in low-carbon energy sources.
Brazil, Panama, Nicaragua and Peru topped the list, which evaluated countries on four points: existing clean energy policies and use, as well as price attractiveness and market size expectations; funding for clean energy; local manufacturing and supply chains for clean-energy products; and greenhouse gas management.
Brazil, which uses biofuels, such as sugarcane-based ethanol, and biomass to produce energy dwarfed its neighbors. According to the study, of the US$90 billion invested in clean energy in the region between 2006 and 2011, Brazil captured 80 percent of that.
Eight percent of the 301 GW power capacity in the region comes from renewable resources, the study said.
At the bottom of the list were a high number of Caribbean basin countries, including Haití, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Venezuela and Surinam.
“The overall Climatescope results highlight considerable room for improvement for countries seeking to attract more capital for their local low-carbon energy sectors and to install more clean power capacity,” said the study. Better clean energy policies are clearly a critical part of achieving this goal.