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Regional Policy Dialogue - ENERGY NETWORK 2014

Date: 17 Nov 2014 to 18 Nov 2014

Time: 9:00 AM

Location: Miami, FL., United States

“Smart frameworks for Smart Grids: The economy and regulation for a sustainable energy transition”


Background:

The Regional Policy Dialogue (RPD) constitutes one of the main discussion platforms of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB or the Bank) to exchange experiences and knowledge between senior energy officials and policy makers in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) on key topics relevant for sustainable development.

As part of this effort the energy network comprises Ministers and Viceministers in LAC who work in energy related issues in 26 member countries of the Bank.  The network intends to foster the dialogue on energy policy issues between the main public stakeholders that ultimately shape the energy environment in the region, through information and knowledge exchange, experiences and lessons learned, and space for improved regional collaboration. This to address common challenges that countries in the region face in terms of infrastructure and provision of energy services.

The theme of the past meeting of the network that took place in El Salvador on November 21 and 22, 2013 was the Impact of Variable Renewable Energies (VRE) in the Electricity markets in LAC:  from dispatch to long term planning. Besides of discussing technical integration issues of variable renewable energies the adequacy of modelling and planning tools to incorporate their specific characteristics was analyzed by several experts, including the capability of the models to reproduce their aggregated benefits.  According to the opinions expressed by the network members the topic for this years’ edition was designed taking into account following aspects:

·         “Identify mechanisms in order to progress towards an energy transition where VRE have a larger share in the energy mix, through institutional arrangements and mind shifts to new schemes that adequately manage variability and intermittency of VRE.”

·         “Improve the analysis of regulatory changes and incentive mechanisms necessary to incorporate VRE in the energy matrices since their massive incorporation alters the rules of traditional electricity markets;

·         “Disseminate and share existing international experiences on integration models for VRE, not only in terms of institutional frameworks and decision making processes but also at the citizen level. We must be able to communicate to society the benefits of incorporating more VRE, while educating the average citizen,  in terms of saving energy and the importance of incorporating a greater volume of renewables;

Thus the 2014 version of the RPD will focus on " Smart Frameworks for Smart Grids: The Economics and Regulation for a Sustainable Energy Transition”.

Objectives:

It is intended that the meeting participants receive and exchange information in order to fulfill the following objectives:

·         Know the different experiences of those countries attending the dialogue regarding the regulatory measures and incentives to VRE, their design, implementation challenges and effectiveness.

·         Understand the regulatory tools to promote smart grid projects at the generation, transmission and distribution levels.

·         Review and discuss existing case studies on the results and lessons learned from different renewable energy policies.

·         Identify the needs for assessments of regulatory and economic instruments at the country and regional levels.

·         Discuss and understand the challenges that electric utilities face regarding the new developments in the electric sector and also the new business opportunities in the market (ancillary services, distributed generation etc.)

·         Discuss next steps of the Vice minister network.

Execution:

The meeting will have a hemispherical character, according to the multi-year work plan established by the Energy Division of the IDB. In order to maximize the exchange of knowledge it is important that participating countries have set clear goals and targets regarding VRE introduction and are willing both to present their experiences on the subject as to propose alternatives and recommendations to meet the objectives described above. The RPD meeting aims to create in this way a discussion forum that ultimately guides decision makers to foster clean energy, increasing environmental sustainability and energy security.

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