Past Initiative News

The Sixth International Energy Symposium Starts in Panama

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Panama City, October 9, 2013 — The Sixth International Energy Symposium was installed this morning in the Central American country. At a formal lecture, Panama’s National Secretary of Energy, Mr. Vicente Prescott, talked about the evolution of the local energy market and commented on the need to work in the construction of an electric grid capable of supplying the demand and suited to respond to key energy security challenges, reduce carbon dioxide emission and make a rational use of resources.

Panama has embarked on a journey toward greater energy sustainability with the recent passing of several laws that favor the modernization of this sector vital to the economy, including legislation on biofuels for instance. “With the implementation of this policy, Panama saved over 355 million liters of gasoline and avoided emitting 247 thousand tons of carbon dioxide”, said Prescott. The country is also focused on promoting hydroelectric energy deployment. The Chan II Project will add 220MW to the grid’s current installed capacity. Moreover, its dam will have an energy accumulation capacity equivalent to 80 days. In the geothermal field, the National Government has initiated conversations with other Central American nations engaged in similar processes with the aim of developing the legal and technical capacity to tap this available resource. Finally, the Government is pursuing outstanding efforts in promoting energy efficiency. “Energy efficiency is the fifth fuel” affirmed Prescott, indicating that energy efficiency contributes to reduce the increasing demand for coal, gas, oil and uranium.

Regarding energy integration, Panama is one of the countries that has deployed the infrastructure and legal framework required to adapt its electricity market to the requirements of SIEPAC. The Central American nation is host to the bi-national electricity interconnection company Colombia – Panamá S.A. (ICP), responsible for the construction and operation of a transmission power line between both countries.

On its first day, the conference will include presentations from local experts, international government officials and multilateral organization representatives on the technical and legal aspects of the Latin American energy market. Tomorrow, the ECPA Clearinghouse will provide an overview of the outlook and perspectives of the Latin American energy market.

See event, details here.