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.

May 2020

April 2020

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.

Featured Report

COVID-19 and Latin America’s Energy Sector: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond the Crisis

Opinion & Analysis

Electricity Demand During Lockdown: Evidence from Argentina

El mercado de combustibles de MĂ©xico y un “doble golpe”

Will Investors Leave Vaca Muerta Amid Lower Oil Prices?

Energy matters – What happens when the price is not right? – ENERGY MATTERS © VOL. 15


The Material and Metal Security of Low-Carbon Energy Transitions

Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI)

The Future of Clean Energy Demands Critical Mineral Policy Solutions

Renewables in Argentina, Trends, Expectations and Investment Perspectives


Oil Prices, Pipeline Outages and Reducing Subsidies in Ecuador: A Conversation with Julian Pastor, Partner at Sempertegui Abogados


CEARE-IOA Oil Markets Presentation featuring Mikkal Herberg

El precio del petrĂłleo en los tiempos del Covid -19

¿Quién puede salvar a Venezuela del desabastecimiento de gasolina?

In the News

Mexican oil prices stay low as demand tanks, storage maxed out

Mexico’s state oil company hasn’t paid hundreds of workers for months

Jeremy Martin: “Los proyectos petroleros en marcha favorecen a Guyana”

Maduro acelerĂł plan de PDVSA para sacar a EE UU de Venezuela

Webinar: Renewables in Argentina, Trends, Expectations and Investment Perspectives

Webinar: Renewables in Argentina, Trends, Expectations and Investment Perspectives


Contact: Jacqueline Sanchez

Presentation (PDF)


This webinar event is brought to you by the Institute of the Americas ETI Program

For years, outside of large-scale hydroelectric projects, Argentina saw limited activity in the renewable energy space. That began to change with a major policy development in the latter part of Cristina Kirchner’s second term. In October 2015, Law 27191, “Legal Regulations on National Promotion for the Use of Sources of Renewable Energy to Generate Electric Power” was successfully passed and enacted.

With the advent of the law and from late 2015 through 2019, Argentina experienced a significant increase in renewable energy development. In particular, the RenovAr program provided a boost for renewables in Argentina and what has been acknowledged as a period of unprecedented growth recognized nationally and internationally.

While the RenovAr program remains in place and the sector’s activities continue to be underway, the ongoing policy evolution derived from last year’s election and political transition, the macroeconomic context, and the current pandemic and its impacts to the local economy, have resulted in strains and unresolved uncertainties for renewables in Argentina.

Join us for a webinar with Jorge Barrigh, Chairman of the Board of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE). Barrigh will share his insights on the developments and outlook for renewable energy in Argentina, particularly as the country navigates the current economic and health care crises.

The webinar will be held Thursday, April 30 at 10:00am San Diego (12:00 pm Houston; 2:00 pm Buenos Aires; GMT/UTC – 8 hours). The webinar will include a live Q&A session with the audience.