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Energy innovation in Latin America: R&D effort, deployment, and capability accumulation

By Francisco Aguayo, Kelly Sims Gallagher and Kevin P. Gallagher

Abstract

Ibero-America, just as the rest of the world, faces an increasing urgency to transform existing energy systems. In the past, incentives to develop energy systems were induced mainly by changes in demand (derived from industrialization and urbanization) and by price shocks in fuels. Diversification of energy sources followed a growing need of use of particular energy forms. For developing countries, innovating in energy systems meant fundamentally gaining control over natural resources and moving away from primary, export-oriented enclaves into industrial integration, as well as improving energy security. Today, however, environmental constraints and the pressing need to reduce energy poverty forge additional challenges and set new directions to change the ways in which we use and produce energy. Improving current technologies along the same trajectory is simply not enough. Fundamental changes must take place in our economic systems in order to combine energy efficiency with low-carbon, sustainable energy sources, for which new abilities and solutions need to be targeted.energy innovation; Latin America

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