ECPA supports energy efficiency in Central America’s transport sector

Thursday, October 03, 2013

On August 7-8, the ECPA Energy Efficiency Working Group convened the Second Seminar on Innovation, Science, and Technology for the Energy Efficient Development of Central America in Guatemala City to address energy efficiency in public transport. Experts from Central and South American countries shared their experiences on energy efficiency in this sector as a critical component of sustainable urban planning and economic growth. At the opening ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy of Guatemala, Edwin Rodas, said that “each city in Latin America has its problems when talking about transportation. Sharing successful experiences helps us to resolve these problems.” Referring to the seminar, Vice Minister Rodas invited participants to “learn from the successful examples of other countries and guide our region towards greater energy efficiency in transportation.” The Vice Minister added that “these are the type of actions that help us to respond to the challenges of climate change.”

During the seminar, representatives from different Central American academic institutions and government agencies gathered to identify opportunities of cooperation in matters of sustainability in transportation. The institutions agreed on taking steps to share their knowledge and experiences as a way to facilitate the execution of high impact and economically viable initiatives. Additionally, the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE) of Mexico, the country that chairs the Energy Efficiency Working Group, offered its assistance for the creation of a training course on technical-economical driving for cargo and passenger transport. For its part, the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC) offered to work on defining scientific and technological criteria for the selection of equipment. The Technical University of Panama (UTP) offered to facilitate the implementation of virtual courses on management and land use planning for transportation. Finally, the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) will make its virtual platform “iSHARE” available to enhance scientific collaboration on all these topics.

The Organization of American States (OAS) as the coordinating body of the ECPA Clearinghouse is working closely with leading institutions to develop a program that will support research aimed at promoting greater energy efficiency in Latin America. The purpose of this effort is to enhance the capacity of academic institutions to provide solutions that foster energy efficiency and may be implemented through policy.