In advance of this year’s Madrid Energy Conference, we are hosting a series of curtain-raiser webinars to allow for a deeper dive into some of the key themes that make up the conference agenda. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade and the regional natural gas market outlook are crucial topics of shared interest in Europe, Latin America the United States.
The role for natural gas in the global energy matrix counts advocates for its potential as the cleanest fuel for electricity generation and industrial operations. Indeed, the last several years has seen a wide-ranging debate regarding the extent to which LNG and natural gas fits into the global energy transition and the increasing deployment of renewable energy. Are natural gas and renewables friends or foes? How critical is natural gas-fired electricity for baseload power? Is natural gas truly a bridge fuel? Have we already crossed the bridge?
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, more near-term market and price issues have swirled around LNG and natural gas. As with global oil markets, natural gas and LNG markets and prices have been pummeled. The United States has seen a massive curtailment of shipments from the Gulf Coast while demand in Europe and Asia have wildly fluctuated. LNG and natural gas prices also remain under substantial pressure, but have not faced the same degree of pain as the oil markets.
In Latin America, countries are struggling to balance their domestic supply-demand profiles against the backdrop of a major economic downturn, and to implement clear-eyed energy policy solutions to ensure the fastest recovery possible. Meanwhile, major natural gas reserve holders such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru are under pressure to implement policy and regulatory measures to expedite the monetization of their reserves, given the increasing risk that they could be left in the ground under a deep energy transition scenario.
In Argentina, questions surround the pace of developments and advances in natural gas production from Neuquén’s unconventional play, Vaca Muerta. As the country navigates its macroeconomic crisis on top of COVID-19, the Fernandez administration demonstrated pragmatism in its recently developed natural gas incentive policy framework “Plan Gas 4”.
Meanwhile, Bolivia, for years a major exporter of natural gas to both Argentina and Brazil, has been consumed by a political transition and ever-changing political calendar that will elect the next administration. The steep decline in gross natural gas supplies seen in 2019 surprised many, increasing the urgency for new policies and outlook for E&P activities in the country.
Brazil, a key consumer and market for natural gas from Bolivia, continues to debate a major overhaul of its natural gas model with the aim of further liberalizing the sector and lowering Petrobras’ grip on the sector, particularly over midstream and commercialization. Increasing the monetization of natural gas reserves associated with the country’s Pre Salt fields through lower reinjection rates is a growing energy policy debate stemming from the country’s natural gas outlook. Join us for this Madrid Energy Conference curtain-raiser webinar and virtual panel with Christopher Goncalves, Chair and Managing Director of the BRG Energy & Climate practice and Roberto Ferreira da Cunha, Director of BRG Energy & Climate for South America. Goncalves will share his insights and outlook for global LNG markets and perspectives on markets in the Hemisphere and Ferreira da Cunha will provide an update on natural gas developments in South America.
The webinar will be held Tuesday, Sep 15 2020 / 8:00 AM-9:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). The panel will include a live Q&A session with the audience.
The second presentation in the Institute of the Americas/Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center’s “Clean Energy in Mexico” webinar series will feature a discussion of regulatory developments and the implications for the Mexican power market and its medium and long-term outlook.
The virtual panel will feature three former regulators in Mexico: Former CRE Chairman Francisco Xavier Salazar and former CRE Commissioners Montserrat Ramiro and Guillermo Zuniga.
The former regulators and experts will share their insights and perspectives on the wide range of issues facing the power sector and regulatory environment derived from COVID-19, but also government policy edicts, cuts in staff and a legislative proposal to completely overhaul Mexico’s regulatory institutions and framework.
Bolivia’s October 2019 election resulted in accusations of fraud, protests, counter accusations of flawed models and the president’s departure. Evo Morales left office – and the country – after more than 13 years in power replaced by Jeanine Añez in charge of a transitional government with elections pending. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic added another layer of complexity to the election calendar. But, now, the parties have agreed to hold the presidential election on September 6. With the pandemic and lockdown to confront the virus, the economy and recovery are critical themes for the next administration.
How Bolivia’s government manages the energy sector will be a key element to the broader economic development strategy and recovery in the coming months and after the new team takes office. Natural gas, a long-time generator of income for the Morales government, slumped in 2019 as part of a global commodity downturn. How a new government approaches the role of the state and specifically the national oil company, YPFB, will be important to understand, as will the energy relationship that Bolivia has developed with its neighbors, principally Brazil and Argentina. The facets of the global energy transition and the incorporation of renewable energy and further diversification of the country’s energy matrix also deserves attention from policymakers and the next team.
Among the energy-related challenges that a new Bolivian government will face are stimulating exploration for new reserves and establishing new avenues for gas exports. Brazil is increasingly awash in Pre-Salt gas, while Argentina is developing huge reserves of shale gas, leaving Bolivia with smaller markets for its landlocked supply. Under Morales, the government promoted a new pipeline to Paraguay.
Beyond natural gas, Bolivia has been trying to develop its extensive lithium reserves. Its fledgling effort recently sputtered with the government’s repeal of a joint venture agreement between Bolivia’s state-owned lithium company YLB and Germany’s ACI Systems to tap brine lithium from the Uyuni salt flats.
To better understand how the next administration will confront the energy challenges and role of the sector to drive economic development and recovery, we are pleased to convene a panel of Bolivian energy experts from across the political spectrum. The representatives will discuss their respective parties vision for the energy sector, their platform, and how, if elected, they will address the sector and what policy measures and steps they will take.
Join us for a virtual panel with Richard Botello, President of YPFB (pending); Miguel Antonio Roca, Spokesman for Comunidad Ciudadana and Coordinator of the Economic Team and Candidate for Congress from La Paz; Oscar Barriga, former president of YPFB and advisor to the MAS party.
Jose Luis Manzano, an IOA Board Member and Chairman of Integra Capital, will offer opening remarks and insights on the context for the global energy sector and in the Southern Cone.
The virtual panel webinar will be held Tuesday, June 30 at 9:00am San Diego (12:00 pm La Paz; GMT/UTC – 8 hours). The webinar will include a discussion and Q&A session with the audience.
El Futuro del Sector Energético de Bolivia – Perspectivas para la próxima administración
Las elecciones de octubre del 2019 en Bolivia resultaron en acusaciones de fraude, protestas, contra acusaciones de modelos defectuosos y la salida del presidente. Evo Morales dejó el cargo, y el país, después de más de 13 años en el poder, reemplazado por Jeanine Añez, quien quedó a cargo de un gobierno de transición con elecciones pendientes. La llegada de la pandemia COVID-19 agregó otra capa de complejidad al calendario electoral. Pero ahora, los partidos acordaron realizar las elecciones presidenciales el 6 de septiembre. Con la pandemia y cuarentena para enfrentar el virus, la economía y la recuperación son temas críticos para la próxima administración.
La forma en que el gobierno de Bolivia maneje el sector energético será un elemento clave para la estrategia general de desarrollo económico y de recuperación en los próximos meses y después de que el nuevo equipo asuma su cargo. El gas natural, un generador de ingresos durante mucho tiempo para el gobierno de Morales, se desplomó en el 2019 como parte de la caída del mercado mundial de productos básicos. Será importante entender cómo un nuevo gobierno aborda el papel del estado y específicamente la compañía petrolera nacional, YPFB, al igual que la relación energética que Bolivia ha desarrollado con sus vecinos, principalmente Brasil y Argentina. Las facetas de la transición energética global y la incorporación de energías renovables, así como una mayor diversificación de la matriz energética del país, también merecen la atención de los encargados de formular políticas y del próximo equipo de trabajo.
Entre los desafíos relacionados con la energía que enfrentará el nuevo gobierno boliviano están estimular la exploración de nuevas reservas y establecer nuevas vías para las exportaciones de gas. Brasil está cada vez más inundado de gas Pre-Sal, mientras que Argentina está desarrollando enormes reservas de gas de esquisto, dejando a Bolivia con mercados más pequeños para su suministro sin litoral. Bajo Morales, el gobierno promovió un nuevo gasoducto a Paraguay.
Más allá del gas natural, Bolivia ha estado tratando de desarrollar sus extensas reservas de litio. Este nuevo esfuerzo recientemente produjo resultados con la derogación por parte del gobierno de un acuerdo de empresa conjunta entre la compañía estatal de litio YLB de Bolivia y ACI Systems de Alemania para explotar el litio de salmuera de las salinas de Uyuni.
Para comprender mejor cómo la próxima administración enfrentará los desafíos energéticos y el papel del sector para impulsar el desarrollo económico y la recuperación, nos complace convocar a un panel de expertos en energía bolivianos de todo el espectro político. Los representantes discutirán la visión de sus respectivos partidos para el sector energético, su plataforma y si son elegidos, cómo abordarán el sector y qué políticas y pasos implementarán.
Unase a nuestro panel virtual con Richard Botello, Presidente de YPFB (pendiente); Miguel Angel Roca, Vocero de Comunidad Ciudadana y Coordinador del Equipo de Economía y Candidato a Diputado por La Paz y Oscar Barriga, expresidente de YPFB y asesor del partido MAS.
José Luis Manzano, miembro de la Junta del IOA y presidente de Integra Capital, ofrecerá unas palabras de apertura y perspectivas en el contexto del sector energético global y del Cono Sur.
El panel virtual se llevará a cabo el martes 30 de junio a las 9:00 am San Diego (12:00 pm La Paz; GMT / UTC – 8 horas). El panel incluirá una discusión y sesión de preguntas y respuestas con la audiencia.
A major public policy debate is underway in Mexico over the role of clean energy for the country’s power market. There are major ramifications for Mexico’s economy and its climate goals. The Lopez Obrador administration has been aggressively pushing to revise the regulatory and investment framework for renewables in Mexico for months, but has ramped up their efforts since late April. Recent delays of approved projects and the prioritizing of state power firm CFE and the use of hydrocarbons to generate electricity have set off heated debate and legal challenges, and led to great uncertainty in Mexico’s power sector.
To further the discussion of clean energy in Mexico and to address the issues at the core of the government’s oppositional posture, we are pleased to launch this new webinar series.
The series will draw upon the expertise of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center and its decades of experience fostering high-level research and efforts to inform public policy with the experience and reach of the Institute of the Americas to shape and inform public policy surrounding energy and environment in Latin America and deep experience in Mexico.
Our jointly-published paper “The Economic and Strategic Arguments for Renewable Energy in Mexico,” authored by lawyer and policy expert John McNeece, will anchor our discussions. The paper and its rigorous analysis will set the stage for a high-level policy debate, through a series of webinar presentations, that will address the issues set forth by the administration and discuss the future of clean energy in Mexico. John McNeece will kick-off the series on June 11 with a presentation based upon his report.
The Clean Energy in Mexico webinar series will provide a research-based platform for further analysis and discussion of these critical issues with the objective of informing and shaping the public policy debate.
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.
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.