Guide towards a sustainable energy future for the Americas

    Full details

    Authors & editors

    Millhome, John
    Estrada, Claudio

    Publisher IANAS The Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences
    Year of publication 2016 -

    English (main text)

    Medium Digital
    Note: Copyright restrictions mean the attachment below only contains part of the publication. The full document is available for inspection at the Mills Archive Research and Education Centre.

    Economics & commerce > Sustainability and the environment
    Climate, environment and development > Renewable energy policy and economics
    Arts, culture and heritage > The role of women


    Renewable energy

    Scope & contentPreface:
    Energy is essential to human civilization. It is necessary for all aspects of modern life ranging from cooking, to powering machines, to transportation, to heating our dwellings and to providing a source of artificial light. Over the broad sweep of human history, we have moved from relying on wood based energy to the coal-powered industrial revolution to petroleum based energy to nuclear and to solar and biobased energy sources and each of these energy sources continues to be important in the world’s contemporary energy economy.

    As the human population approaches eight billions the challenges of sustainable energy are taking center stage. The United Nations Sustainable
    Development Goals (SGDs) include as SDG 7 “to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. Concerns about climate
    change, driven by fossil fuel based CO2 emissions, are forcing a reevaluation of our dependence on different energy sources and are stimulating new research investments in low carbon and sustainable energy systems. We are witnessing an energy transformation that seems gradual, but when looked at retrospectively is impressive. Fuel efficiency and per capita energy consumption have improved substantially over the last half-century, but the pace of improvement must accelerate if we are to achieve a sustainable energy economy.

    The purpose of this volume is to provide a science-based analysis of the current energy situation of the Americas and to look into the near term future of energy in the Hemisphere. The book considers key challenges such as bringing adequate energy to under served populations; renewable energy sources and the biofuel revolution and the role of gender in the energy economy. Each chapter includes country specific boxes that provide a picture of energy sources on a national and regional basis. The book also considers the challenges of building the institutional capabilities necessary to advance national energy economies.

    The Hemisphere of the Americas is fortunate is having rich energy sources and in having a strong scientific enterprise dedicated to improving energy efficiency and access. While many challenges must be addressed as we move forward, the picture is one of substantial, yet still inadequate progress. It is vital to continue to invest in the scientific innovations that will support a sustainable energy future. Accordingly, we are pleased to present this contribution to the road map for achieving SDG 7 from the Science Academies of the Americas.

    Divisions within this publication

    • 1: Preface by IANAS Co-Chair Michael Clegg (US) and IANAS Co-Chair Juan Asenjo (Chile)
    • 2: Introduction by IANAS Energy Program Co-Chairs John Millhone (US) and Claudio Estrada (Mexico)
    • 3: Energy Efficiency in the Americas by John Millhone (US)
    • 4: Energy for Underserved Populations: Meeting the basic needs of the poorest people in Latin America and the Caribbean by Rafael Espinoza (Peru), Mónica Gómez (Peru) and Manfred Horn (Peru)
    • 5: Firewood Use in Latin America and its Effects on the health By Gustavo Sequiera and Mario Jiménez (Nicaragua)
    • 6: Renewable Energy: Immense Opportunities for Renewable Energy in its Many Forms by Claudio A. Estrada Gasca (Mexico), Jorge M. Islas Samperio (Mexico), Wilfredo César Flores Castro (Honduras)
    • 7: The Atacama Plant: A Bright Spot for Chile By Miguel Kiwi (Chile)
    • 8: Current Energy Status and Perspectives in Mexico by Jorge M. Islas Samperio (Mexico)
    • 9: Research and Development in the Energy Sector in Argentina by Miguel Laborde and Roberto Williams (Argentina)
    • 10: The Cuban Experience: Using Renewable Energy Sources of Energy to Improve the Quality of Life in accessible Rural Areas By Luis Berriz (Cuba)
    • 11: Women, Energy and Water: The Effects of Gender and Culture on the Roles and Responsibilities of Women by Frances Henry (Canada), Patricia Taboada (Bolivia-US), Katherine Vammen (Nicaragua)
    • 12: Two way link between Energy and Water By Katherine Vammen (Nicaragua)
    • 13: Understanding Bioenergy by José Rincón (Colombia) Luís Cortez (Brazil)
    • 14: Renewable Energy projects in the Dominican Republic by Julian Despradel (Dominican Republic)
    • 15: Current status and perspectives for bioenergy in Latin America & Caribbean: addressing sugarcane ethanol by Carlos Cruz (Brazil), Luís Cortez (Brazil), Luiz Nogueira (Brazil), Ricardo Baldassin
    • 16: Current Status and Perspectives of Energy in Colombia by José María Rincón Martínez (Colombia)
    • 17: Sugarcane Bioenergy in Brazil: Current Situation and Perspectives by Carlos Brito-Cruz, Luís Cortez, Luiz Nogueira and Ricardo Baldassin (Brazil)
    • 18: Capacity building in Latin America and the Caribbean by Anthony Clayton (Scotland-Jamaica)
    • 19: General conclusions by Claudio Estrada (Mexico) and John Millhone (US)


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