Latin America wants to produce clean energy from its volcanoes
04 May 2016 | Adaptation
Once feared, active volcanoes may now power the main cities in Latin America with clean energy.
Mexico and Costa Rica will seek to become the leading producers of geothermal power in Latin America to ensure clean energy supply and face the future challenges of climate change.
Latin America relies on hydropower for 55 percent of its electricity and burning fossil fuels for 40 percent, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.
On the other hand, geothermal energy only makes up 5 percent of the power capacity in Central America, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The region is now seeking to change this.
Political interest has grown around new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emission after the new Paris climate change agreement where governments agreed to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.
Geothermal power is not vulnerable to the effects of climate change like droughts and temperature rise, and provides a continuous supply of clean energy along the mountain range of active volcanoes in Latin America.
This new energy source could be an effective way to give energy to the most populated cities in the region, since it has the smallest greenhouse gas footprint of any other power generation technology.
"One of the main benefits is that countries can become independent from the fluctuations of foreign markets," said Emilia Rodríguez, a lawyer from Costa Rican specialized in renewable energy. "It also supplies the cleanest and greenest energy."