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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

11/01/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/01/2019 14:44

Dino Barajas Quoted in Energy Advisor on LatAm Renewables Goals

Akin Gump cross-border transactions partner Dino Barajas participated in a written Q&A published by Energy Advisor on the topic 'Will LAC Meet its Renewable Energy Goals By 2030?,' discussing the likelihood that countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will reach their announced collective goal of 70 percent renewable energy use by 2030.

Barajas, whose practice emphasizes Latin American infrastructure project financings, debt financings, and mergers and acquisitions, said he considered 70 percent renewable energy in any single national grid that does not rely heavily on hydroelectric power 'very difficult to achieve from a grid stability perspective.'

He noted that the ability to provide predict­able baseload power supply to a national electricity grid is required for system stabil­ity and added, 'Renewable energy portfolios comprised primarily of wind and solar generation assets will require a large battery storage component to utilize during low electricity generation periods in order to meet system load demands. Although the costs of solar and wind generation facilities have become increasingly cost competitive, the costs of installing large battery storage facilities, despite providing tremendous system bene­fits, may offset the cost savings of installing renewable energy systems.'

Barajas pointed to jurisdictions such as Costa Rica that have at their disposal diverse renewable energy resources and characterized them as being in the 'enviable position of becoming energy independent and rely primarily (if not solely) on in-country energy sources.' He noted that, aside from environmental benefits pro­vided by renewable energy generation facil­ities, any country's efforts to increase renewable energy generation resources within its overall power generation portfolio would be justified by the cost savings and the direct benefit of minimizing the dependence on fossil fuel imports.

He closed by noting, 'Achieving greater energy indepen­dence, even if one is not able to reach a 70 percent renewable energy threshold, gives Latin American government policymakers greater visibility relating to cost inputs into their country's industrial and commercial sectors. I would applaud any country's efforts to increase the prominence of renew­able energy sources within its overall energy generation portfolio.'