May 2020

May 2020

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.


The Economic and Strategic Arguments for Renewable Energy in Mexico

Natural Gas Southern Cone Dynamics and Development

La Jolla Conference Videos

IOA YouTube channel

La Jolla Conference in the News

Media coverage and stories from the Virtual La Jolla Conference

Opinion & Analysis

Do Mexico’s New Power Sector Rules Favor the State?

Chris Sladen ANZMEX Energy Matters Vol 17


Managing Critical Mineral Supply Chain Risks

Webinar: Managing Critical Mineral Supply Chain Risks

Webinar: Managing Critical Mineral Supply Chain Risks


Contact: Jacqueline Sanchez

Presentstion (pdf)

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.

The webinar will feature a presentation by Nedal Nassar, Chief of the Materials Flow Analysis Section of the National Minerals Information Center at the United States Geological Survey.

He will share details of their analysis of the risk facing the US’s manufacturing sector and highlight steps that the Federal government in the United States is taking to reduce that risk.

The webinar will be held Tuesday, May 7 at 10:00am San Diego (12:00pm Houston; 1:00pm Washington, DC; GMT/UTC – 8 hours). The webinar will include a live Q&A session with the audience.

The Economic and Strategic Arguments for Renewable Energy in Mexico


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 Economic and Strategic Arguments for Renewable Energy in Mexico

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