The month of May at the Institute of the Americas is synonymous with our annual La Jolla Energy Conference. This year, as most of you know, meant the Virtual La Jolla Conference. We were very pleased to be able to pivot and host our XXIX La Jolla Conference online. The virtual platform allowed for a weeklong program accessible by a far greater number of attendees from across the hemisphere and globe.
We were extremely pleased with the topics, panels, level of discussion and high-level of engagement from the online attendees. We know that the move to an online event eliminated many of the La Jolla Conference’s most cherished elements, but we would like to thank our panelists, speakers, partners and participants for ensuring that our focus on high-level policy and investment discourse in a relaxed and friendly setting was alive and well.
We were also pleased to publish two reports in advance of the La Jolla Conference in an effort to foster dialogue on cross-cutting issues of natural gas and LNG, but also an excellent and rigorous analysis of the economic arguments and technical elements associated with renewable energy deployment in Mexico.
Despite the online setting, we feel this year’s discussions again served to foster high-level public-private dialogue on the future of the hemisphere’s energy sector, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and global oil price shock. The La Jolla Conference remains the linchpin for the Institute of the Americas objective of serving as an honest broker of policy and investment debates surrounding the hemisphere’s most critical energy and sustainability issues, whether online or, hopefully again soon, through our in-person events.
Stay tuned for our La Jolla Conference report. In the meantime, check out the recordings from many of the sessions, as well as the plethora of articles and media stories derived from discussions at the Virtual La Jolla Conference.
Clean energy in Mexico will be the topic for our next major webinar series, in collaboration with the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center. The series will launch on June 11 with John McNeece presenting a summary of our jointly-published paper “The Economic and Strategic Arguments for Renewable Energy in Mexico.” Mexico’s power sector was also the theme of Jeremy Martin’s commentary written for the Inter-American Dialogue Energy Advisor Newsletter.
Prior to the Virtual La Jolla Conference, we concluded our Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition webinar series in collaboration with the Payne Institute with a presentation by Nedal Nassar from the US Geological Survey and discussion of managing risk in critical mineral supply chains.
Mineral commodities play a vital role in the energy sector and that role will certainly increase with the transition to renewable energy technologies. Yet, as the COVID-19 pandemic has painfully highlighted, global supply chains of mineral commodities are susceptible to supply disruptions.
In a recently published article, Nedal Nassar and colleagues examine the risk of a mineral commodity supply disruption to the manufacturing sector in the United States. They identify a subset of commodities, including cobalt, tungsten, and the rare-earth elements, whose supply disruption poses the greatest risk.
This analysis will be the focus of the next installment of the joint Institute of the Americas and Payne Institute for Public Policy “Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition” webinar series.
Mexico has seen a radical change of direction regarding renewable energy since Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) took office in December 2018.By 2018, Mexico had held three clean energy auctions for the sale of clean energy and related clean energy certificates to CFE, the state-owned power company. An October 2018 press release from the Ministry of Energy noted that as a result of these auctions, Mexico would receive US$8.6 billion in investment, which would be used to develop 65 solar and wind energy projects.
The April edition of Energy Panorama arrives as the world continues to navigate and manage crisis. We reiterate our best wishes to everyone directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the calendar turns to May, it’s time for the annual La Jolla Conference. As you know, last year the La Jolla Conference went tieless. This year we are going virtual. With the restrictions in place for travel and meetings, the XXIX La Jolla Conference will break new ground as a weeklong virtual conference from May 18-22. Please join us online this year.
Our featured report this month looks at the impacts of COVID-19 and the implications for Latin American economies and specifically the energy sector. We invited a dozen energy experts from across Latin America to comment on their respective markets. IOA non-resident fellows Andres Chambouleyron, Leonardo Beltran and Nelson Narciso were key contributors.
Our collaboration with the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines and webinar series Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition continued in April. We hosted three joint webinars focused on the intersection of critical minerals and the global energy transition, as well as a look at governance and implications for public policy and investment.
We ended April with an update and discussion of the outlook for renewable energy in Argentina as part of our traditional monthly webinar series.
Our non-resident fellow, Andres Chambouleyron, penned an essay for IPS News examining electricity demand during lockdown and the case of Argentina while Jeremy Martin commented for the Inter-American Dialogue’s Energy Advisor on the outlook for Vaca Muerta against the backdrop of the oil price collapse.
April also saw us formally kick off our collaboration with CEARE at the University of Buenos Aires and a session and discussion of oil markets featuring our UCSD colleague Mikkal Herberg.
Our analysis in April included the Spanish version published by Mexico’s El Universal of Jeremy Martin’s essay on oil price and fuels market in Mexico and featured his participation in a virtual panel hosted by El Universal.
Our podcast series turned to Ecuador and discussion of the oil sector, pipeline issues and possible reduction of fuel subsidies in a conversation with Julian Pastor of Quito law firm Sempertegui Abogados. Jeremy Martin also sat down to chat with Emily Hersh as part of the Minerals Manhattan Project podcast. They discussed a wide range of issues from the role of China in the Americas to leadership and multilateralism in today’s world.
We are also pleased to continue to bring you the cogent insights of IOA board member Chris Sladen and his monthly essay written for ANZMEX.
Great panel to discuss #Oilandgas update -#price, #upstream and #production, #storage, #downstream and #DosBocas with Mr. Sladen from Recoinnatre Ltd., Warren Levy, Jaguar Exploración y Producción, Rosanety Barrios @vozexpertamx @pzarater @AztecDuncan @MexicoInstitute
Continuing with the last day of our #LJC2020 to discuss #gas and #power update -pipelines, #power markets and #renewables moderated by @MontseRamiroX @vozexpertamx with @memo_z @LeoBeltranR, Juancho Eekhout @IEnova_MX and Gerardo Serrato from Hartree Partners #LJC2020